Picking Up the Pen

“Write well, think well.”


I heard this on the Tim Ferriss Podcast featuring Malcolm Gladwell a while back, and it struck a chord with me, the ringing melody of which resonated long after the rest of the podcast had faded from my memory. I wrote it on a scrap of copy book paper, and tacked it to my wall, where it remains to this day.

I’ve always been interested in stories and writing, but struggled to get the words down. Distraction, lack of time, and a lack of knowledge of how to approach the process prevented me from sitting down long enough to ever add substance to the hundreds of half baked ideas I had scribbled on pieces of paper and hoarded away in typo-riden notes on my phone.

A significant event in my life led me to take my own foray into the craft which I held in such high regard more seriously, and a I joined a writing group. For a couple of years, I banged out short stories and character sketches, spending hours after my workday furiously typing at my laptop, trying to bring the ideas in my head to life.

I was putting time in. I was improving. But the question came up, as it I’m sure it has for many people faced with pursuing a personal goal that isn’t yet showing any results- why bother?

Why put the hours in, forgoing time that could be spent with friends, exercising, or working on my current career?

I thought about this for a long time, and stepped away from the keys. Ideas came and went, never consecrated or cemented by the fingers, and the mind soon filled to the brim and they were lost in the overflow.

But hearing that phrase solidified and put words to a chain of thoughts that had been floating unconsciously in my head. Write well, think well. The benefit of writing ( or any pursuit ) is more than just the finsihed product.

Writing has benefits beyond story creation.


Forming thoughts and sentences on the page can improve the quality of thinking in your own mind. Even if the writing is poor and doesn’t lead anywhere, the exercise in and of itself can have unforeseen and often unnoticed benefits.


The spillover into other areas of my life was significant.

So I picked up the pen again.

That’s a long winded way of background into what I hope to achieve with this little blog. I hope whoever reads this derives some benefit or enjoyment from it.

That, along with what the process does for me, will be more than worth it.

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