This idea parallels similar ones championed by Cal Newport in “Deep Work” and “Digital Minimalism”. I feel barraged by information coming at me, and never realized how little I sit and form my own perspectives and opinions before those books. Now I purposely spend time working through my ideas by writing or walking while pondering, and my own ideas about topics have been getting clearer.
I have also found that writing is a forcing function of thinking and creating. To write first, then do the work (whatever the work is) is forcing to slow down and structure things before jumping into large tasks.
It’s why writing down plans for projects before starting them (RFCs) work. I’ve also observed writing well - or writing, at all - being an undervalued engineering skill.
We have an internal RFC process for engineering that people use to write and propose changes they want to implement (the judgement is if it’s something that’s worthy of input from one or more engineers, throw it into the RFC).
It’s fantastic, and the benefits are immediately obvious. Forces you to really think through what you’re proposing and people won’t take you for meetings whenever they want – everything’s in one place for them to read, discuss, refine.
Of course, the real problem is when people just won’t read, but that’s more of a slow cultural change to get them to look in there.
I’ve worked at Amazon and really valued this approach as a reader and writer. At my current company I end up in m when neither the organizers nor the invitees know why they are there nor focus.