Students often regard writing with disdain, greeting any written assignments with the question, “Why do we have to write out our answers? Why is this important?”
Well…I tell students...
Because the entire first one-third of your life you need to please, and impress those who are older; teachers, colleagues, supervisors, professors, people who grew up writing on yellow legal pads, in steno books, and in blue composition books. They continue to see the written form of communication as the most preferred. They know many jobs require written statements, overviews, summaries, courses-of- action, mission statements, or old fashioned reports.
Because the entire middle third of your life you will be the older colleague, supervisor, manager, or professor. You will be impressed by the young person who can clearly and succinctly convey their thoughts to others in written form. You will be the adult discouraged by the lack of clear communication in written work. You will be the adult bemoaning the downfall of western civilization because of weak sentence structure, misplaced modifiers, and vague details that never really get to the point or stay on topic.
Because the last third of your life, writing will be what you used to do, wished you could still do, or thought you always wanted to do. You will look forward to anything that is written, a card, a note, or a letter. In your view, no one knows how to write anything anymore. "What do they teach now-a-days?", you will ask.
So while now it may impress your friends that you can send a text with lightning speed, that you know 101 texting character combinations, and you can summarize an entire day’s outing in a 280 character tweet, remember your audience. Who will be writing your most important documents, signing your check, writing a letter of recommendation, or writing up your evaluations?
Why is writing important?
Who do you really hope to impress?