Write What You Know

Fellow blogger and nametag guy, Scott Ginsberg makes the point of frequently asking himself the question: “Is everything I know written down somewhere?” I believe this is an excellent point because writing down what you know is one of the best ways to improve your understanding.

One of the best benefits of starting this blog has been the greater understanding of the personal development ideas I’ve picked up. My own personal growth has skyrocketed because I began articulating my experiences and the ideas that I’ve come across. Writing my Habitual Mastery series, gave me a far greater understanding of my own habits and the process of changing them.

A basic tenet of goal-setting is to write your goals down. The first and obvious effect of this is that it keeps you committed making your effort more than a whim. The second and more subtle effect is that by writing your goal down you gain a far greater clarity of exactly what you want. What was once a vague desire can become a concrete objective for you to reach.

Writing down your ideas gives you greater clarity. Writing down how you feel self-discipline works, what you should do to overcome fear or how to run a business takes vague feelings and intuitions and solidifies them.

This process also forces you to fill up gaps in your reasoning. While you may not notice these holes and hidden contradictions in your knowledge, writing them down will force you to fix them up. Many times when I start writing an article, I realize that there are places in my thoughts where I am uncertain or contradict myself. By writing these things down I can fill these holes in reasoning.

Writing down your ideas does take up some time. Each blog entry I write takes me at least an hour or two to put together. But the benefits you gain from increasing your understanding are well worth the cost. You can often speed up the process by using visual diagrams or pictures to simplify your ideas.

Get into the habit of writing down your ideas and you can have them reinforced when you need them. Just take a few minutes to explore a different idea each day. You can use this method to tackle specific areas to your interests or line of work or your daily life.

Is what you know written down somewhere?

  • Mike

    No doubt that getting in the habit of writing things down is a key to remembering what you know! One other thought, something I do is to write down things I WANT to know. There is only so much we can study and learn in this lifetime, and when I see something that really sets off my interest/fascinating/wow alarms – I write it down. I’ll remember that’s something I want to know, learn about, etc. before the end of the line.

  • Alex Shalman

    Good point Scott. I have been keeping a journal for a number of years and have been blogging for a couple of months now. I have noticed an increase in my ability to explain myself and in my overall thought process.

  • Scott Young

    Thanks for the comments Alex and Mike.

  • Wulfen

    You can say that loud mate!

    We’ve already kickstarted our website, which you know what’s about 😉 – a pity it’s in spanish, I haven’t had time to look into translation yet :(. I have found out that by writing my knowledge I solidify all the concepts in my head as you so properly explain.

    I’ll add another perspective: we are three authors, so it’s like a blog with three perspective (though it’s not actually a blog, we use a content management system for the added functionality: it will also be our company’s website). So, we’re three people writing, one article per week each. Well I can say that by reading my mates’ articles I have improved noticeably my skills.

    The two other guys that write there are skilled people, more seasoned than me, and they are my mentors. I learnt lots from them from forums posts and real life conversations. But when they have put their minds in writing quality articles I have amped up a notch my knowledge on how their minds work.

    So several contributors, each working on the same subject, with the same generic approach to the issue at matter, and with a common roadmap in mind (we link to each other’s articles, for instance), can also shed a lot more light into each other’s knowledge.


  • Scott Young


    Great to hear. Pity I don’t speak Spanish. 🙁

  • Brandon

    I am playing around with the idea of writing down everything that I know, or at least everything I can think of, in a journal. The reasoning would be purely to gain an outlook, and an experience from the process itself. What are your thoughts? Have you heard of someone doing such a thing? I would love to receive an email response to hear what you think. I am a college student at Oklahoma State. I do a lot of creative video work (check out my site if you get a chance). Anyways, thanks again, and let me know!