Why writing is one of the most important skills in the 21st century
In October of 2020, I've published my first blog post about SOLID principles.
This was the first written content I've ever put out on the internet. At the time, I and many of my friends thought it was a pretty stupid thing. There are already dozens, if not hundreds of articles about the SOLID principles. But I simply wanted to push something out on my name.
To keep things simple I tried to publish an article a week.
Little did I know that this "joke" of a project would accelerate my career drastically.
I will talk about the specific improvements later, but I currently want to make a very bold and confident claim that writing is the most important skill in the 21st century.
Why write in the 21st century?
Almost everyone writes, even simple stuff like text messaging counts as writing. So everyone has some basic level of writing skills. Our first introduction to "formal" writing comes from school, where we were forced to write essays, papers, etc...
This is where the false dilemma of writing happens to people. The reason why most people have a negative view of writing is because of school, where they were forced to write about things that they weren't interested in and it just felt like a chore.
But writing doesn't have to be like that. Writing can be fun. You can write your own comics or novels. It can be educational, you can write about things that you are studying about. It can be both fun and educational, where you try to break down a complex subject into fun digestible ways.
Anyways the main point is that writing should not be boring or feel like a chore. When it does, stop, think about what you are writing about, and decide if it's worth it to continue to write. If writing feels like a chore, you are less inclined to do it, hence breaking the habit. Writing is a habit, the more you do it, the better and easier it will become.
Before we move on to the benefits of writing let's take a look at common myths on writing.
I have to be a native speaker in X language
A lot of non-native English speakers tend to shy away from writing, but your content doesn't get judged on grammar or vocabulary, it gets judged on the value do you provide to your reader.
Another point is that you don't have to write in an unfamiliar language. You can write in whatever language you want but you have to keep in mind that some languages will have bigger audiences than others.
There's already something written on X subject
This was one of the myths I struggled with at the beginning. One of my close colleagues genuinely asked me what's the point of me publishing content if there's already something on it on the internet.
At that time I couldn't answer him, but now after amassing a decent viewing, I can say that the market for content is infinite. There will always be readers who would give your content a chance and it's up to you as the writer to give them a new perspective or explain things in a simpler way to compete with the others.
I use the word compete sparingly here, this isn't a jungle, survival of the fittest type thing. The more content there is, the more consumers of the content and it is just a win-win situation for everyone.
Benefits of writing
Writing has lots of benefits, from a neurological standpoint to a career standpoint. But for these next sets, I will specifically talk about how writing helped me in my life.
Writing on the job
The first improvement I saw was in my day job. As most software developers are working remotely and it's just a pain in the ass to set up an actual call, we mostly text each other.
I found that I can write more clearly to my colleagues and articulate my problems better. Another benefit is with writing design specs, I found it a lot easier to write those.
Writing leads to self-development
This was one of the biggest benefits. I tend to rely on momentum a lot and after deciding on publishing an article once a week, I had to study a lot to come up with topics to write about. I've also amassed a somewhat of a following which forced me to be accountable. My followers expect an article a week and I follow through with that promise.
Writing leads to other forms of content
Writing is one of the easiest ways to start creating online content, after doing it for a while you start to gain some confidence. You realize the internet is not that of a harsh place. So with my so-gained confidence, I've started making YouTube videos for a while.
Writing makes you more credible
After writing for a while I've received emails from people asking me questions about certain topics that I wrote about. This was certainly surprising, people actually think I'm an expert. Whether I'm actually an expert or not is another subject but the main point is that it made me much more credible.
Writing leads to opportunities
Writing also gave me lots of job opportunities, because people saw me as an expert. I've received lots of opportunities. I can't get into too much detail about the specific jobs due to privacy reasons but it was a pleasant experience nonetheless.
Writing can make you passive income
Once you have a good following, it's pretty easy to monetize that. You can make money from google ad-sense, affiliate marketing, sponsored articles, etc...
This can lead to other forms of content that have passive income such as YouTube in which there are no limits.
Writing has changed my life.
It gave me accountability which built my discipline.
It made me credible hence giving me more opportunities.
It made me more confident to share my ideas with the world.
What can writing do for you?
Thanks for reading.