Write to Process Information

on 07 August 0 Comment

Do you have an important decision coming up like a job change, house purchase or college selection? Writing can be an effective way to evaluate and sort out information.

What’s a great way to start? That’s easy-peasy! A pro and con list!

As you write, you may also find that you:

  • Identify how you feel as you write the words.
  • Get in touch with your instincts.
  • Debunk a false perception about a situation, because the outcome of a situation may seem better or worse than you initially thought when you write everything out.
  • Confirm that your first impressions are accurate.
  • See additional benefits or challenges of a potential action than you might have initially considered.
  • Determine if there is a “middle ground” or intermediary step that might be better than either of the options you may be considering.

Sometimes, writing leads you in a completely different direction that the one you started on. Your path can seem tangential, or make you ask yourself, “Where did that come from?” In the end, though, those detours can end up being valuable information when you ask a follow-up question: “How does this idea relate to what I am considering?”

People who write consistently will tell you that this shift in direction happens all of the time.

For example, on Sunday, we heard a pastor at church share that as he prepared for his sermon, he knew that he wanted to talk about Jacob, one of the biblical patriarchs, but he didn’t know why or how that topic would fit into the theme of the sermon series.

He wrote down every idea that came to him. Three times. On the third try, he saw the connection he was looking for. The result was a powerful message that fit like a glove into the theme of the sermon series. Like this pastor story teaches us, writing helps us process information by finding the missing connections in what we are looking to share.

For me, faith is paramount to my life. Writing my thoughts helps me see if they are in line with Scripture. I also check for repetitive themes and words as guideposts in decision making.

I’ll often write about something for a designated times period—say a couple of days or a week. It really depends on the magnitude of the decision. As I journal, I see how answers to different questions may point to a similar answer.

In addition to looking to God’s Word, I also share my processing writing with my husband. He gives me additional insights or asks questions that I may not have yet answered. As I discuss situations with him and others like trusted mentors, friends and colleagues, I record their thoughts as well.

What about you? Have you discovered that writing helps you to process information or make a decision? If so, please let me know with a comment.

If you are a writer or if you have a story you would like to get out, let me help you take an idea to a blog, article or book. If you have already drafted something an are looking for content evaluation, I’d love to help you. Please feel free to contact me.