Are writers smarter than the average person? Maybe.
At least that’s what several sites proclaimed not so long ago.
I first saw it on LifeHack. The thrust there is that the act of writing helps with thinking in all sorts of ways. It helps us process emotions, think through issues, and learn more completely.
All of which would seem to be ways we become smarter, at least by some measures.
A site called IheartIntellegence says roughly the same thing.
The cynic in me can’t help but notice it’s writers saying all this.
Which doesn’t make it untrue I suppose.
Some science sort of behind this
LifeHack quotes a 1994 study that tested some 63 engineers to see if writing would help them reduce the stress of job loss. Divided in two groups, the group that wrote about their feelings actually got more jobs than the group that didn’t. What that says about intelligence I’m not at all sure.
IheartIntelligence cites the same study about job loss and two more, sort of. One insists people learn more by taking notes by hand rather than by laptop. The third link to the Publication Coach is an interesting post on emotional intelligence.
Again my cynic points out that none of this information points to IQ, the traditional measure of intelligence. At least not directly.
Besides, my handwriting is so awful I know I’m better with a keyboard – as long as it isn’t on an auto-correcting so called smart phone!
Is this important?
It seems to me these writers who answer the question “are writers smarter?” with an affirmative are not really demonstrating that writers are smarter, unless by being smarter they mean writing hot headlines and view pulling search engine optimization.
While I know writing helps me not only earn an income, but process my thoughts and may make my emotional quotient higher than those who don’t, I don’t know how important that is in the bigger picture. Sure, I like being able to write well, and I’d love to think that makes me smarter than the average person – but I doubt it. Maybe I’ve just been smart enough to make use of what feels like an innate talent.
I read the first article chuckling, loving the notion that I might be smarter because I write, but not taking it seriously. When I discovered the meme are writers smarter might becoming a thing, I decided to write this.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusions!
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Write well and often,