Digital Garden of Paul

Benefits of writing

At its core, writing is simple. It's a method of sharing your thoughts. I love this characteristic of writing as described by Steph Smith. The hardest part of writing is not the writing itself, it is the thinking behind the writing. Writing helps us to clarify and communicate our thoughts.

David Perell describes the importants of making your ideas permanent by writing. Writing things down help to build up intellectual capital. These written artefacts can help to build up new knowledge or publications by combining bits and pieces. Especially when considering Ambient research over active research, the knowledge gained and written down can help massively when starting a new project.

Writing in organisations

Some organisations are renowned for their writing practices. Amazon is well known for its Six-Page Narrative, GitLab has writing as essential part of its remote manifesto, and Stripe has a culture of writing that is one of its superpowers.

Returning from a COVID-19 period with forced remote-working organisations are searching the best way of working. Patterns and principles from all-remote companies are embraced more and more. First-most principle to be used here is to start oppress real-time communication. Move to a world of working asynchronously. It requires teams and individuals to embrace writing as the primary mode of communication.

Know Your Team calls out various advantages of writing asynchronously:

  • You give your team time to triage. All messages are not created equal, and your team can now prioritise, work on, and respond to the messages that are most important, and not just most recent.
  • You give your team time to think. Communication is no longer a firehouse, so your team can now ruminate deeply on complex issues and problem solve in a more thorough way.
  • You make it easier to share information. Because you’re converting meetings into online documents, each recorded document now has a URL that you can share with anyone else in the organisation. Transparency multiplies.

Writing as part of decision making

Writing is a great means for decision making and scalability. As mentioned Amazon has a strict Six Pager culture for decision making. At Google Design Docs are inherently part of its engineering culture. Crucial design decisions are designed, described and made via these documents. At Uber an [RFC-like process] is used to make decisions. Architectural Decision Records can be a great start for teams that want to make architectural decisions by writing.

Benefits of writing