You need to write, right now


Mark Capapas

Students study for finals on the second floor of Grainger Engineering Library on May 6. Columnist Noah encourages students to write more to enhance writing abilities.

By Noah Nelson, Columnist

When a professor adds a long essay assignment due next week to your plate, you probably find yourself saying, “Seriously? I’ve already got three exams, a project and a presentation next week. I don’t have time to write an essay.”

Your subconscious makes the situation worse, too. It tells you you’re not a writer, and there’s no way you’ll write a perfect paper by the due date. Don’t lie to yourself. You are a writer; you just don’t know it yet. 

Like any life skill, writing must be practiced on a daily basis. There’s no other way to grow better at it. Therefore, you need to write more than you do now, not only for your school responsibilities, but for life, too.

You probably don’t picture yourself as a writer, one who publishes books, articles, poems, etc. Honestly, you don’t have to get anything published in life if you don’t want to. You just have to write. 

Writing improves various aspects of life. It will enhance your organizational skills by keeping your thoughts together before you forget them. By writing down your ideas or a life memory in an organized manner, you can refer back to what yourwrote for future reference.

Get The Daily Illini in your inbox!

  • Catch the latest on University of Illinois news, sports, and more. Delivered every weekday.
  • Stay up to date on all things Illini sports. Delivered every Monday.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Thank you for subscribing!

Writing also keeps your mind sharp. It will improve your memory, creativity and analytical skills, thus helping you not only in college but in life.

From a young age, I’ve enjoyed writing papers in school but struggled every time through the writing process because I didn’t write on a consistent basis. While attending the University, I have disciplined myself to write every day, even on the days I don’t want to. The results show.

Because of my constant writing, I have scored high on every paper so far in my college career. Instead of loathing a writing assignment like many of my classmates, I love every minute of it.

You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What do I write about? How do I even get started? I think I have writer’s block.” You just have to write.

Discipline yourself to sit down for about 10-15 minutes and write about whatever comes to mind. It could be next week’s grocery list, a letter to a family member or even a list of names for your future children. No matter the topic, you just have to get those juices flowing. Continue on this path until the act becomes a habit.

If you cannot think of anything to write about at first, writing your own story can assist you in so many ways. Write down all of the happy memories you have had in life in a diary or journal. When you find yourself lost in telling your story, you will be amazed by how much you have to write. 

Writing may seem like a daunting task at first. If you think about it, all new skills seem scary, but once you start to grasp the hang of the act, it becomes much easier to do. 

If you never want to have your work published, that’s OK. Writing private pieces you know will never be read by anyone else can be as much fun as writing works countless sets of eyes will see.

If you begin writing now, you will discover once you’re assigned a long essay in class, it should no longer be a challenge. With the writing skills you have built up, you are sure to rock your next paper.

Wherever your writing adventures may take you, good luck and happy writing!

Noah is a sophomore in LAS.

[email protected]