Most of us think of writing as a means of communication -- whether we're sending a text, crafting a memo, or penning a novel to convey our feelings and ideas to others. And that definitely is a hugely important aspect of writing. Experts insist writing for communication is an essential skill that will help you get ahead no matter what you do. 

But experts also say that writing is about a lot more than how your words affect others. It's a powerful tool to improve yourself too. 

Expressive writing, like keeping a journal, boosts mental health and resilience. Writing down goals and dreams can help keep your day or even your life on track. Writing, as your college composition teacher may have told you, is also a way to think through issues and clarify your opinions. Ideally, you end up smarter at the end of a piece of writing than you were at the beginning. 

And as Aaron Francis argues in a thoughtful new piece for GitHub's The ReadME Project, writing is also a fantastic way to multiply your luck

How to increase your "luck surface area"

The article, directed a makers of all types including entrepreneurs, builds on a classic insight from entrepreneur Jason Roberts -- "luck surface area." Back in 2010, Roberts argued that the amount of luck you can expect is the product of how much cool stuff you do and how effectively that work is communicated. 

Doing good work is the essential foundation of doing well in life. There's no getting away from that. But creating interesting things is only half the equation. If you want both yourself and the world to benefit from those things, you also need to tell other people about what you've created. The more you put yourself out there, the more lucky breaks come your way. And writing is the best way to put yourself out there that there is.  

"By doing work and being public about it, you build a reputation for yourself. You build a track record. You build a public body of work that speaks on your behalf better than any résumé ever could. The goal is not to become famous, the goal is to increase the chances of luck finding us," Francis sums up. 

What's holding you back from putting yourself out there?

All of this might sound obvious, but too many of us hang back from the clear conclusion: You should write more public stuff about the things you're working on. Why? Some of us simply underestimate ourselves, Francis believes. 

Many subject-matter experts have "forgotten just how much they know. They think that they're not doing anything interesting because they assume that everyone knows as much as they do. This effect is only exacerbated when everyone in your immediate vicinity is at a similar -- or higher -- skill level. As you become more of an expert, your quality bar gets higher and higher and you forget that everything you know is not known by everyone," Francis says. 

He issues a challenge to those who undervalue their own expertise: "Watch the communities where you hang out and see what people are sharing and what gets noticed. Is it something you could have done? Is it something you've already done?" If so, the solution isn't to get bitter about all those other self-promoters. It's to start writing more about the work of equal caliber you're already doing. 

Other people are just shy to share what they're up to in writing. The solution to this impediment, according to Francis, is self-reflection.

"Are you afraid people are going to make fun of what you built? Are you embarrassed that it isn't up to your own (admittedly high) standards? Are you waiting for some elusive perfect moment? Do you have an aversion to 'marketing' and don't want to become the thing you hate? Whatever it is for you, I encourage you to really dig into it and see if that fear is worth keeping around," he writes. 

Because getting over whatever hangups are keeping you from writing publicly about your work is almost certainly worth it. Sharing what you're doing -- whether it's on Twitter, Medium, through a newsletter, or on a personal blog -- builds community, grows interest in your work, and can attract speaking invitations, talent, collaborators, or (if you're in the market) job opportunities. In short, it makes you a whole lot luckier

All you need is a little bravery, a few basic writing tips, and a kick in the pants to quit stalling and finally put yourself out there in writing.