If you had told me three years ago that I would devote more than 20 hours a week to writing, I would have laughed it off.
As an architect, I was focused on visual tasks and precise engineering. Writing seemed unrelated to architecture (or so I thought back then). However, life has a way of surprising us, and I discovered that writing not only connected to architecture but also to everything we do. Writing should be a daily habit for everyone.
So How this shift in my thinking happened?
Writing as a creative outlet
let me take you back in time to answer this question.
I have been passionate about learning. I love learning about whatever interests me (and I bet you do too). But what drives this passion is not just learning itself. It’s the ability to connect different subjects and find hidden links between them. This is what we call creativity.
When we combine what we learn with our unique perspectives, ideas start to form. We connect the dots between various concepts, and in doing so we unleash our creativity. However, the more I learned and practiced creativity, the more I felt something was missing: expressing and sharing with others.
Learning and creativity are both important, but sharing is crucial to accelerate your growth.
This is how I imagine the learning growth cycle:
Now, you might wonder: What should I share?
What should you share with others?
We often think we should only share our finished, polished work—the end result. But what about all the valuable insights and lessons we learn along the way? What about the process itself?
That’s the question that Austin Kleon explores in his book “Show Your Work!” — a book that I highly recommend. He shows how sharing our work in progress—our challenges, breakthroughs, and discoveries—can be just as valuable as sharing the final product (If not more valuable). This book changed my perspective on sharing and inspired me to start My Design Days blog.
It also helped me find the missing piece in the growth model. By sharing along the way, we can complete the growth loop faster, which leads to faster growth and more opportunities.
Here are some of the key insights from “Show Your Work“
My Favorite Insights from “Show your work” by Austin Kleon:
- The best way to start sharing your work is to think about what you want to learn, and commit to learning it in front of others.
- The only way to find your voice is to use it. Talk about the things you love. Your voice will follow.
- Take people behind the scenes. Humans are interested in other humans and what they do.
- Share something small every day!
💡 Insight: Don’t let sharing your work overshadow doing your work. If you’re struggling to balance the two, just set a timer for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off, get off the Internet and get back to work.
💡Insight: Share your work easily, start documenting your process. Whether you share it or not, Documenting and recording also helps you see your work better and motivates you. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have lots of material to pick from.
Back to our main question: Why did I pick writing as my way for sharing?
Why writing matters?
Writing is more than a skill; it is a way of being. It is how we communicate with ourselves, with others, and with the world. Whether you write for personal or professional reasons, you can benefit from writing in many ways.
1️⃣ Write for Yourself
Writing is more than just putting words on paper; it is expressing ourselves in ways that spoken words often can’t.
Have you ever used a pen and paper to brainstorm something? When we turn our thoughts into tangible words and lines, we dive deeper into our own thinking and gain clarity. It’s a way to explore our ideas, refine our thoughts, and improve how we solve problems.
Whether it’s brainstorming, journaling, or sketching, writing helps us unlock our creative potential.
The Night Journal:
One of the things that helps me to keep organized and keep track of my work is what I call the Night Journal.
I tried to write my thoughts in the morning. However, the problem is that in the morning my mind is already empty. Therefore, I find it way more impactful to write my thoughts after the end of each day. It doesn’t matter what I write, or in what form. Sometimes I write in a bullet list or a paragraph. What matters is to note down whatever comes to my mind.
This helps me in three ways:
- It clears my mind.
- It serves as a sign that work is done for today. It helps me to separate between work and leisure.
- It helps me gain insights from my day.
2️⃣ Write for others
Writing has shaped the course of humanity.
Just as ancient writings connect us to the past, your words can connect you to the present and future. Writing has been a powerful medium for sharing knowledge, stories, and wisdom. When you write, you join this legacy. Your experience, even if it seems obvious to you, can educate, inspire, and influence others who need it.
We all need one another one way or another: through writing we connect.
3️⃣ Write to Connect
Writing builds bridges between people
By sharing your thoughts, ideas, and experiences, you create a bond with others who resonate with your message. Even if you touch just one person’s life, your words can make a meaningful difference.
Writing will help you build connections and create a community of like-minded people.
You’re reading this, which means writing has done its magic and my words have reached you. Somehow, someway, we’ve connected. And that’s the beauty of writing—it crosses boundaries and brings people together. As you know a bit about me, I’d love to hear from you in the comments and learn about you.