I’ve been reading (and writing) here for some sixteen years. So I am pretty well convinced by the benefit of writing. A couple of others think the same thing.

In a discussion about the difference between being smart and discovering new stuff Paul Graham recently wrote:

One of the most surprising ingredients in having new ideas is writing ability. There’s a class of new ideas that are best discovered by writing essays and books. And that “by” is deliberate: you don’t think of the ideas first, and then merely write them down. There is a kind of thinking that one does by writing, and if you’re clumsy at writing, or don’t enjoy doing it, that will get in your way if you try to do this kind of thinking.

Barry Ritholtz noted a number of reasons why he and others expose ideas to the public including:

Figure out what we think
Explore a topic or idea
Memorialize an investment position (or potential trade)
Share expertise
Educate readers
Publicize a concept
Express outrage
Signal interest in a topic
Influence decision-makers
Debate / argue around an issue
Defend an idea or position
Educate ourselves about a thing
Resolve a noisy internal dialogue

Writing in public isn’t one thing. It’s many. It’s a process. It’s building on your own thoughts, and others. It’s sometimes messy, but in the end powerful.