By John Sonmez April 10, 2014

Why You Need To Start Writing

I used to hate writing. It always felt like such a strain to put my ideas on paper or in a document. Why not just say what I thought?
In this video, I'll tell you why I changed my mind about writing and why I think writing is one of the best things you can do for your career.

 

Full transcript:

John:               Hey everyone!  John Sonmez from simpleprogrammer.com and today I’m going to talk about something I think is really important that could really benefit your career that could benefit your life.  It’s something that you might not have considered.  It might be even something that you hate right now.

What I’m talking about today is writing.  If you’re a developer, if you’re followed my blog you probably know that I’m going to preach to you right now and say “Start a blog.”  I give a talk on how to market yourself as a software developer.  Whenever I give this talk I have developers in the room, I say, “Raise your hand if you have a blog.”  Surprisingly maybe only 10% of the room raises their hand.  Then I say, “Raise your hand if you update that blog regularly, if you wrote a blog post last week.”  One guy raises his hand most of the time.  Just from a pure career perspective, just from a pure setting yourself apart from other developers, if you write a blog and you write one post a week, not a huge time commitment, you’re going to be ahead of 99% of other developers who aren’t doing that.  that alone is good enough reason to write a blog.

Now, there’re all kinds of reasons why you would say, “Ah, well, I don’t want to do this.  I’m not a good writer.”  Let’s throw that excuse in the can because here’s the deal, if you write every week, if you write a blog post every week and you do this for just one year, it’s 52 blog posts you’re going to get pretty good at it by the end of that year.  If you do that for several years you’re going to become a really good writer at least in developer terms pretty quickly.  If you have an even better writing habit of writing every day, 1000 words a day like a lot of writers do you’re just going to become good.  It doesn’t matter where you start because time is the great equalizer.  As long as you put in the time you’re going to eventually become good.  You have to believe this.  It’s impossible to not become good.  We all became good at walking, we all learned how to walk, we learned how to speak, how to master human language and emotion.  These are difficult things but we practiced them and over time we learned them.

Now, okay, so I’ve kind of told you the benefits of career wise why you should write, but let me tell you a personal benefit.  I’ve always hated writing.  Back in school I did not consider myself a writer.  I was in a lot of the AP classes for other things, biology, mathematics, not in writing and English.  But since I started writing my blog I found that writing is pretty awesome.  It’s painful.  It is painful.  It gets less painful.  But here’s the thing that’s so awesome about it, it helps you to organize your thoughts.  Your brain has all these thoughts coming through it all the time that can mess you up.  You think understand the topic.  You think you could talk clearly about it, but you go into conversation with someone and then all this stuff comes out and it’s unorganized and it doesn’t make sense and you can’t communicate your point.  You know that you’ve got this point.  You know that you’ve got something that you want to communicate but you can’t do it.

Here’s how you do it.  You start writing.  Writing forces you to organize your thoughts.  When you put something on paper, when you type it into Notepad, you type it into your blog post with the keyboard what happens is it forces your mind to start to organize things, to really think about things.  You start to think about things in depth and how to present them.  That organization carries over in all areas of your life.

When you’re having a conversation with someone where you’re trying to explain something all of a sudden you can speak more eloquently because you have the ability to organize your thoughts.  If you do a podcast, if you try to do other mediums, other types of things in life when you try to explain something to someone it ends up being a lot simpler.  You end up giving a better explanation because you could organize your thoughts.

Even your code, even when you start thinking about problems your brain is being exercised in this direction.  Writing is really important, really powerful.  If you’re not good at it, hey, don’t worry.  Go back to the archive of my blog post look at my first year of blog posts they suck.  Even today I write stuff that might not be good by literary standards but it’s a lot better than it was when I first started.  Hey, no one ever looks up a writing and laughs at it.  They’re reading the content in it.  Really important to get started writing.  It’s a really good thing that’s going to help your career.  It’s going to help you to communicate your thoughts a lot better.

Hey, if you like this video subscribe to my YouTube channel here.  Trying to hit a thousand, getting pretty close here.  Don’t forget to check out my blog at simpleprogrammer.com.  I’ve got lots of career advice and things like that especially for developers and a little bit of technical content you’ll find every once in a while.  Thanks for watching this video.  Take care and have a great week.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."