Sunday, January 11, 2015

So - What's on your mind

How many times have you begun a conversation only to stumble through your thoughts? How about difficulty in describing how your feel or details of your ideas? What type of impression do you think that left on the person listening?
     When I think of writers, the first thing that comes to mind  is someone hunched over a vintage typewriter.  Perhaps you remember - the kind with the messy ribbons and the distinct, round, little  buttons. The clacking noise they made is a far cry from today's quiet-touch keyboards. Not to mention there are no strikers on your keyboard to get tangled.
     But I digress, perhaps these writers of old instinctively knew something that only later surfaced in research of psycholinguistics, (psychology of language), which suggests many benefits come from putting thought into the written word.
     How much better do we feel when our thoughts are organized and refined? One of the ways to accomplish this, easily, is to just - write them down. Computers are remarkable tools but have their limitations. 
     I've always found it so much easier to evaluate my plan when I can see it in writing. We could look at the studies showing improved mood and reduced stress for those who write regularly, but I believe that if you think about it, logic and empirical evidence will make that unnecessary. 
      In Aug '86 (yeah, I'm dating myself), The journal of Abnormal Psychology published an article referencing traumatic writing. Participants were asked to define their emotions as well as the facts surrounding a traumatic event. The results showed (initially), higher blood pressure and negative moods, but after several months, the benefits kicked in - these same people had fewer health center visits in the future.
     Putting thought to written word allows us to clear the cobwebs and sling the mental rust aside. Abstract information can cross the metaphysical barrier into the tangible world and prevent your biological hard-drive from crashing.
     Continued writing on a particular topic can allow you to explore tangents that arise and perk your interest for new angles and perspectives. 
     Remember back in grade school...Don't know if they still do it or not, but (a few years ago), teachers use to make students write their spelling words down - ten times each, as a learning tool. So you would remember them.
     Imagine have a stroke and losing the ability to express yourself through speech. Speech and writing can occur in different sections of the brain. Aphasia occurs in about 20% of stroke victims. Hospitals' therapy departments include teaching the patients to write and draw to improve speech and thought processes.
     Benefits will come in many forms, but it is well worth the effort and time. Whether you write to clear the cobwebs, heal, or just because it feels good. Keep writing. 



  1. my inability to effectively communicate is at the core of the failure of all my personal and intimate relationships. its not about finding someone to talk to, but finding someone to talk with. I think the same counts for writing, its not about finding an audience to write to, but finding an audience to write with....

  2. Rob, I added a follower's widget...I believe you just click on it to follow.


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