Writing can do wonders for your intelligence, especially with other people.
Imagine it: When you create a story, populated with different people. you have to create those people. People who aren’t you. In acting upon your need, desire, and best efforts to create those people, you learn that your own subconscious mind is a tricky beast. You’ll find a way to sneak your own personal preferences, dislikes, ambitions, or their opposites, straight into your characters. Depending on the direction the story needs to go, a lot of it needs to be edited out.
But by whom, you? That’s like asking the man with dark sunglasses on to turn on the light. They may notice the change, but they still see the world through those super-c0ol, or not-so-cool, lenses.
As it turns out, writing about other people is a skill. By practicing it, you learn so much about your own patterns, and begin to notice the patterns in others as well. This is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t get when people say that ‘fiction writing’ has no value.
If the act of writing a story gives you a better ability to look at the world from beyond your own personal biases, then it’s practically a crash-course in truth-seeking, wisdom, and emotional intelligence. The investment is well worth it.
Given, I’m no expert yet. I hope I can be good one day. So far for me, the only way to really improve is to interact with other people as much as possible, continue to edit out the parts of me that sneak into the characters’ lives, and keep writing stories.
Maybe somewhere between my 4th and 40th story, I’ll reach that self-determined stage where I can look in the mirror and call myself ‘good’ at this skill.
Have you had trouble looking outside of your own viewpoint?
Has a lack of skill in this area negatively impacted your ability to succeed the way you really want to?