American novelist F Scott Fitzgerald wrote: “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
I can’t remember when my love for writing began, but I do remember that, as a little girl, I wrote because I wanted to share my creative stories with my siblings and cousins.
When I grew older, I wrote business columns to reflect on and share my experiences as an entrepreneur.
In fact, it is my love for writing that inspired me to pursue a degree in communication and eventually become a communications adviser.
Through my career, I grew to appreciate the power of words to build great brands, but also how the wrong words could bring down the most prominent organisations.
However, what I have come to appreciate the most is how writing made me a better entrepreneur.
Years ago, one of my writer acquaintances asked me to join her in a month-long journaling challenge.
The aim of the exercise was to use writing as a form to process our thoughts at the end of a day and ultimately feel more uplifted by the end of the month.
In the first few days of the challenge, I simply reflected on my day and how I felt about certain incidents.
But as the days passed, I used my journaling to process my day at work, analyse what went wrong and how I could improve different skills.
Writing about what happened on a certain day allowed me to look at matters, and especially how I run my business, from a fresh perspective.
Once I wrote about my thoughts, I was able to see where my shortcomings were, what I did well and where I needed to improve my service offerings and managerial skills.
By the end of the month, I felt uplifted and had valuable insights into my business and myself that I probably wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t engaged in the exercise.
After that, I decided to incorporate business journaling into my daily routine.
Every evening, I dedicated 15 to 20 minutes to jot down what happened at work. I would highlight things I was proud of and things that needed improvement or revisions.
Step by step, I was able to tweak my behaviour as an entrepreneur and adjust my business performance.
Looking back, writing not only provided me with an avenue to vent and go to bed with a lighter mind, but it also helped me make better decisions, especially when I felt at loss.
Science backs this. A study published in the journal of Organisational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes found that people who wrote about a decision they had to take ended up making better decisions than those who didn’t.
As entrepreneurs, we know how important a business plan is, but what I found to be equally important is to work on your plan and business development every day through writing.
Putting down your goals in writing and highlighting your flaws will help you reach your goals faster.
The next time you feel stuck at work, undecisive about the next step or in need of a fresh perspective, grab a pen and paper and write away.
Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer and communications adviser based in Abu Dhabi.