Why writing helps

One of the things that I love about being a blogger is the encouragement it gives me to write.

Writing helps.

It’s fair to say, I think, that if you want to get good at something, then writing about it is a key part of the learning process.

You don’t even have to do it online, or even on a computer. Having a notebook you can put thoughts and reflections down in on a regular basis will do wonders for you in terms of thinking through problems and assessing what you are doing.

If you have an idea for something, making yourself write it down, think about the words you use and how you articulate it, will help you spot what’s good and what’s not so good about it.

As I said, you don’t have to do this on a blog. But there’s an advantage to sharing your writing online.

It adds another level of thinking critically about your writing. Knowing that other people could well be reading makes you think a bit more about each phrase and each sentence. It sanity checks your ideas – if you’re embarrassed to be blogging about it, maybe it’s not such a great solution to your problem.

This obviously works for individuals, but it works for teams too, and organisations. Share with people what you are thinking and what you are doing. Force yourself to articulate it in terms that will be clear to those that are reading them.

It will help improve your work and your understanding – even if nobody else ever reads it.

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Published by

Dave Briggs

I'm Head of Digital and Design at Adur and Worthing Councils.

One thought on “Why writing helps”

  1. I’m with you on this one David.

    Writing IS so useful in getting one thoughts straight. I did try blogging for years, when it was introduced as a fashion; up until the point where I realized how useless it was, when everyone blogs from their own little broadcast site. Because they do, they never have time to comment on another’s thoughts, or connect conversations between blogs. So much writing, so little communication.

    Thought you might like this one from one of my occasional correspondents in the Brussels bubble. http://mathew.blogactiv.eu/2014/09/24/trading-activity-for-meaning/ Mathew was a driver of the blogactiv platform. You can see what happens when everyone blogs around a subject. No one communicates. So much individual activity. So little social meaning.

    But I’m with you. It does tend to work when a team shares a blog. So it’s good to see https://www.blog.gov.uk/ But it does illustrate how, if a team isn’t inside the entrenched institutional fashion, they get frozen out.

    Even when individuals write (very well) on some other team’s blog, it doesn’t work. https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2012/03/07/does-local-government-need-a-local-government-digital-service/ That’s just an outsider’s brief flash of brilliant opinion set in a foreign context. A team (of individuals) does need a blog to call home if they are to create meaning. i.e. local.blog.gov.uk.

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