Writing daily may be more valuable than any sort of formal English classroom education.
Consistently putting your thoughts down can teach a man (or woman) articulation of thought. This is certainly a critical communication tool in baseball, but more importantly, it empowers you in the chess match of life. It can also lead to a more powerful state of well-being.
Writing strengthens humans.
My father modeled the behavior of writing. He’d produce speeches, poems, music, notes…he simply spawned content. I observed this creativity regularly; he never minded sharing a toast or the ridiculously comedic note he had penned for another. Last April, I asked him to tell me about the value derived from his practice. Basically, I wanted to know what he had read that lead him to write consistently. Was there a method to his madness? He had an answer:
Well, I did read some things, but I basically lived it, and do live it. I have written poetry for years, kept a journal of the goings-on in my life, and, like you, read a lot. My writing was for the purpose of my own well-being, as well as an expression of my deepest feelings of joy, frustration, pain, appreciations of life and many other aspects. I am, nor ever was, a writer for other people. Some of my poetry was impossible for anyone else to understand the “meaning” or feelings it pronounced. The feelings were inexpressible in words and also those words that I could not say aloud to anyone else. Those writings allowed me to acknowledge the worst and the best in myself and accept it all. I have read vast amounts of poetry that have profoundly influenced and freed me from convention—inwardly, and occasionally outwardly. Like you, I accepted in myself things I regretted, wished and failed in the trying to change them.
And I read about the craft of writing and writers and their talents and their developments and their colossal failures. Those are the calling cards of those related to all the arts who are passionate and can’t live any other way. They are the risk takers and the x-game athletes of the soul.
Writing in one’s comfort zone is a pleasure and I wish no one to be deprived of that experience. I believe that it results in well-being, which seems for many, to result in—a desire for greater challenges and risk-taking.
My dad is deep. This post is not necessarily meant to be. It aims to be an illustration of the life skills, like communication, which assist in our daily successes and confidence building uniquely captured through writing. Consider putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard a practice like many others. It’s an exercise in language acquisition and critical thinking dexterity, just like weight training is for lean tissue production. From lifehacker.com:
Over time, my writing has developed characteristics and a tone. It also doesn’t hurt that when I write, it always sounds more elegant and put together. I choose words that I wouldn’t use daily, which slowly sneak their way into my conversations.
It’s also a source of content from which I can quickly pull references from, which make me quicker both on a personal and a professional level.
I know there are regular readers of this blog who don spikes on a nightly basis. Much of what I write about is directly targeted at them. That’s not to say others are not impacted, but I have a special affinity for stretching a hand to the ballplayers who may mine value from the daily posts.
If this is you, I encourage you to write. Write about plate appearances in an effort to improve your recall and make approach adjustments more efficiently. Write about your time on the mound with your mind’s eye to kinesthetically connecting with your mechanics. Snap mental photos of your ball striking the glove and write about the sensation to lock in intellectual muscle memory. Write about your time in horseshit hotels and filthy buses, aiming to use descriptive words to develop your vocabulary. All of these tools will help you become a more powerful baseball player and, ultimately, a stronger man.