It is a very important activity in the Covid-19 era.
I am into writing these days besides reading. After years of Toastmasters activity, I find that we can enhance our communication skills greatly through these two habits.
As I have spoken about reading before, let’s focus on writing.
What is writing? It can be your personal journaling, writing fiction, nonfiction, a blog, an essay, a letter, anything, as long as your put your pen to paper or you tap away at your keyboard.
Why should we write?
1. Promotes better thinking. When you write down ideas and thoughts, they may appear unconnected and vague at first. If you continue to write with a structure such as having a goal, supporting evidence, relevant anecdotes, a listicle, et cetera, your ideas will start to take shape and solidify.
Your thoughts become more critical, concrete, and organized. Solutions and answers may arise when you least expect it.
2 Allows reflection of past events. When you write a personal story, you think about what happened, it’s pros and cons, where you did right and what went wrong, and derive important lessons.
That is why History is so important and we have the authors to thank for documenting them.
As they say, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So we can learn from what we have written.
3 The more you write, the better your vocabulary as in learning any skill. It is a good habit to inculcate whether it is for personal growth or in a business setting.
Personally, it’s good for your mental health as you can see issues clearer and feel more confident as your writing skills blossomed.
At work, Your colleagues will like you for the clear and concise messages to get work done.
4 Everything stems from excellent writing – Speeches, videos, meetings, lectures, memos, and so on.
When you write well, you feel more confident to speak well.
Are we not We are always moved by speeches that have a succinct message, poignant points, and a logical flow. Remember Obama’s message, “ Yes, we can?” Or any of our founder LKY’s speeches. Obviously, it is from a well-written script.
5 We write for another practical reason. Writing is a legitimate career in today’s world. People are making money with their writing. As authors on writing platforms, bloggers, freelance writers, content writers, and so on.
It is an alternative source of income in this Covid-19 period where you can work from anywhere and do not require a hefty investment. It requires you to be passionate about reading, researching, and writing.
As more businesses move online, people who write well are much sought after by companies to attract potential customers to their sites through the use of their words. We Toastmasters should know what makes an effective script.
It is achievable but requires diligence.
It was not easy for me to start writing even a 5 min speech for the Toastmasters project but improvement does happen. It gets a little effortless with time.
When facing writer’s block, I did the following things which may or may not suit you.
1 Tap on your emotions — We all have a wide range of emotions — from anger to sadness to sorrow to happiness to joy to embarrassment to apathy to disgust to frustration to fear to horror and so on.
Think of an incident that made you very happy or very angry or very sad. You can crystallize a speech out of that incident. Just trust that you can because, in extreme feelings, one has a lot to say. I see it on social media when people write three pages of grouses or two pages when joyful.
It is only useful if you can derive some lessons from your experiences. It also trains you to describe them in the best way possible. But remember to consult your dictionary for appropriate words. Consult grammarly.com to put your grammar right. There is a free version.
2 Take a walk — When at a loss for words, no pun intended, stop, and go for a walk. According to research, walking is a superpower activity that goes beyond just building good health for your brain, heart, muscles, and bone.
Novelists and poets have long believed that walking and writing are connected. Now there is research to back that claim. Among the past literary luminaries known to be avid walkers are Charles Dickens, Virginia Wolf, Ernest Hemmingway.
The research found that walking for forty minutes three times a week enhanced the connectivity of important brain circuits, reduced declines in brain function associated with aging, and increases your cognitive performance.
3 Look for sources of inspiration. Flip through your albums — See which photos provoke or incite you the most and write your feelings down. What could have been better? How have you dealt with your situation? What were you grateful for?
The best source is reading books or other people’s writings. Filter them through your mind, come out with your own spin or perspective on the story and write your own story making them inspirational and encouraging. There is no lack of sources nor lack of time, only a lack of discipline and passion.
4 Check yourself out.
You are a treasure trove of ideas with your unique experiences each day. Find out your passion, your achievements, and your dreams. Every day is a happening one, if you do, ask, and observe.
In conclusion, writing is an exciting activity. It takes you on a journey to explore your own world. This article arose because I was stuck with what project to do until I started to put on paper, “Why I write, and How to overcome my writer’s block”. In the process, I found my answers and solutions.
Start writing no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. — — Louis L’ Amour
Wield your pen, tap your keys.
The magic will come.
Words will flow, ideas will connect, and a message becomes imminent. Your article will be ready. You have finally written. You are ready to give the speech and your future is ever so bright because of honing these two skills.