Reasons Why Writing Remains a Critical Skill for Success

10/31/2016 02:39 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

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Photo credit: Alvaro Serrano/Unsplash.

With few exceptions, everything you've ever read in your entire life was written by somebody. It's an obvious observation but becomes an impressive fact the more you think about it. Writers are far more prevalent than most people think, in that many key responsibilities and duties in life require good writing from folks who are not "writers" in the archetypal sense of the word. Be it lawyers, salespeople, teachers, or even zookeepers - strong writing skills are critical for success throughout the many branches of society.

In fact, the importance of writing has perhaps increased in the last decade or so, thanks to trends in technology. Most folks communicate via email, text, or social media, and hence many millions of pieces of information are flowing between us through the written word every day. In matters of business, when every second counts, strong writing makes the difference between smooth operations and clumsy footing.

Organic outreach

For anyone wishing to establish an online presence to showcase skills or otherwise reach out and network, writing is perhaps the best way to achieve this goal in the long term. In particular, writing blog posts and guest articles utilizing your particular knowledge and skill sets. Online brand architects such as Brandlift Digital Marketing will be the first to point out the importance of link building and content creation in the pursuit of a powerful web presence. These strategies boil down to one thing: writing.

Becoming an authority throughout the web thanks to your written contributions will undoubtedly boost your ability to be found by others online and, consequently, cement your role as a trusted professional in your field.

Efficient communication

As mentioned earlier, good writing skills will prevent operations from being clogged up by miscommunication. These operations could be anything from planning a family reunion to devising a six-month corporate strategy. Simply put, a strong writer will sum up the most important aspects at hand and touch on them individually, as well as proportionally.

In many ways, efficient communication is a matter of math. Generally speaking, the most important part of a blog, email, or memo ought to have the lion's share of sentences. If sections are equally important, they ought to have an equal number of words. Again, this is generally speaking - exceptions exist - but exceptions make the rule. Look over a piece of writing before publishing and/or sending, and if the body seems uneven or otherwise imbalanced, it's a good idea to give it a once over at the very least to check for redundancies, run-ons, and rambles.

Effective communication

Keeping your writing short and to the point is important - but there is no point if it's not effective writing. As such, being able to express yourself in both an easy to understand and interesting way is the key to achieving success through writing. This is an experience which likely falls on many professionals across many fields.

If there is one "golden rule" of effective writing it is this: write for the reader. When someone gets into the habit of writing, it's often their first instinct to go for the flowery prose and drawn-out metaphors. However, if you turn around and read your own writing in this fashion, you'll likely soon realize you're better off keeping things simple. With that, always read your writing before clicking send or submit. Opt for getting to the point rather than going on a tangent - readers will be forever grateful.

Credible communication

Good writing is not explicitly indicative of credibility; there are far too many snake oil salesman out there for this to be true. However, strong writing skills are certainly the first step towards establishing credibility in either an authoritative or instructional setting. Failure to write well will result in people not taking what you have to say seriously, even if you have the best intentions at heart and best insights in your field.

Again, you don't have to be a poet to write well. When it comes to credibility, the key issue is grammar and spelling, honestly. Make sure you're using the right words and your sentences make sense. Do this, and writing well is simply a matter of having something interesting to write about.

Self-improvement

Ultimately, writing helps us think better, and perhaps even be smarter. Similar to dreams, writing allows us a way to collect our otherwise scattered thoughts and ideas, and channel them into a single beam of information. It opens up a new dimension for the mind to move into and, consequently, creates a space for unparalleled expression and imagination.

It sounds like the rambling, inflated poetry previously warned about, but there's some science to the idea that writing makes us smarter. The caveat is that studies show old fashioned pen to paper writing is what leads to improved cognitive ability, whereas typing didn't have the same results. However, it'd be hard to argue against the idea that writing of any kind is sure to enhance the way you perceive the world around you.

The ability to write well is not reserved for authors, poets, journalists, and screenwriters alone. In fact, strong writing skills are crucial for countless careers and callings. They're also important even for an email to a friend or a text message to a family member. Perhaps most critical of all - writing can help us become better people.

One last thing - this article may fall under Skitt's Law - where anything discussing grammar and spelling will include grammar and spelling mistakes. Feel free to point them out in the comments.