The undervalued benefits of writing
Writing is a habit that has become more obsolete over time. Audiovisual storytelling and information have taken over, and this certainly has its advantage. It’s fast and effective at communicating simple things. We even see this kind of communication seep into writing itself with the use of elements like emojis. Writing has been reduced to its barest form possible with the lowest amount of elaboration possible. Writing is a representation of our stream of thoughts, and the more nuanced our writing is, the more nuanced our thinking is, creating a better sense of our own minds. A lot of the mental problems that are common in our generation could be remedied by creating the habit of writing down thoughts and reflections.
Most of the texts that are written online and distributed nowadays have an incredibly simple form. Only what contains simple and effective communication is valued, when writing should be a broad source of information. What could have been a niche interest centuries ago would be widely rejected now for being too “wordy” or “long-winded”. Not to say that there is no good niche writing, but since so much of it has been centralized on the Internet, it all seems to follow a lot of the same basic standards. Someone as conceptual as Immanuel Kant or as irreverent to norms as James Joyce would find it very hard to find an audience nowadays.
The way people write is an aspect that changes naturally over time, and it doesn’t make sense to try and course correct the way it is going. If one kind of writing is more popular than the rest it is for a reason, and different kinds of writing have been popular at different points in history. However, it seems like our writing is taking on all the negative qualities of the new generation of technology and communication. Most writing seems to mimic the style of marketing campaigns and ads, with the same basic linguistic resources and syntactical elements. These trends seem to be present in literature as well. While it is great that more people can get involved in the process of writing on the Internet, it seems harder and harder to find unique voices. Writing should be about finding your own individual voice and expression, and a lot of writing seems to get rejected on the basis of being too elaborate or obtuse when that is the kind of writing that should be interesting.
Now, there is such a thing as bad writing, and every writer at some point has been a producer of it, because having thoughts that one can’t express is part of the process of being able to express them. But beyond the style of writing, there should be a recognition of the value of the idea behind the words themselves, which on some level is independent from the style. Writing in itself is a blessing to all human beings and it should be used to the extent and forms of one’s desires, and not a required formatting that is common to all writing.
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