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Are Writers Really Smarter?

writers smarterAre 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!

Take a fun, and often surprisingly insightful personality quiz – I’ll call you with the results

Write well and often,


{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Michael Joll

    If IQ is a measure of intelligence, at least in the Western Hemisphere, then I think it true that most published writers probably have a higher IQ than the rest of the population.

    • Maybe… IQ has always seemed an incomplete measurement of intelligence to me.

  • hello anne wayman,
    i am pavan patil..i am impressed by your article..it is really good…reading and writing are really best hobbies any man can have..it helps to gain knowledge and develop the experience and there is unique tips are covered in this article..thank you..
    pavan recently posted..Top 5 Ear Phones Under 1000 RupeesMy Profile

  • Hi Anne,
    I do believe that authors become intelligent only when they read others work. And its really a good post. Yo have shared some unique things.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hmmm… I do know that reading widely seems to help me and other writers become better writers. Thanks.

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