"Good writing is clear thinking made visible." - Bill Wheeler


It feels like there is a stigma against grown men keeping a journal. The idea of a journal for many people conjures up an image of teenage girls scribbling about their crushes in a diary. 

But this is a silly thought. Writing is a powerful way to communicate, to both yourself and others. Once you put something down on paper (or type it on a computer), it helps to clarify thoughts in your mind. 

I see this process as something like 'digesting your ideas'. Because first you write down what you're thinking, which forces you to articulate it. Then you might read through it again, which means now you're taking in the information as a more neutral observer. You might even read it aloud, which gives you the auditory as well as visual sensory input.

It's amazing how something that bothers you suddenly becomes less daunting once you put it down on paper.  Our minds are very powerful, and we can easily get swept up into negative thoughts.

And when you improve your skills at communicating through writing, it almost feels like a superpower. You can learn how to express exactly what you're thinking, and then the recipient of your writing has no ambiguity to sort through. 

I think it would do many of us (myself included) good to write more letters and fewer texts/emails. There is something personal and thoughtful about putting a pen to paper to try and capture how you feel. Texts and emails are efficient products of the digital age, but there is something lost in their quick and instant nature. Crafting a letter requires slow thinking, choosing your words carefully, and more focus on what you're trying to say.

By no means am I against technology or modern forms of communication. But it's important to recognize the value of this ancient art. Good writing clarifies our thoughts to ourselves, and helps us better communicate with others.