Why I write and why you should too
September 13, 2019
Writing makes you think. It’s impossible to write without thinking at least a little bit.
Everyone can share photos or text that others have made, but can you make something yourself? Of course, you can. We all have that ability, but if we don’t use it, we become rusty - very rusty.
I think the biggest problem that holds most people back is that they set way too high standards. They think being able to write is a talent you need to be born with and that writers are these people who use complex vocabulary and whose text just flows like a river as they type on the keyboard non-stop.
Here’s my standard: the sentences have to be coherent sentences that make sense in the English language. That’s it. I don’t worry about being good or having a logical structure - my goal is to write an article (short or long - doesn’t matter) with sentences that make logical sense.
Here’s the truth: true, sometimes the text does flow like a river but more often than not I simply stare at the blank screen having no idea whatsoever. I write a sentence, then delete it, then write a new one, then think “what the hell am I even doing?”, then write some more, and some more.
As far as I’ve come to understand by reading a little bit about the writing processes of other authors (I don’t call myself an author btw), they all have these kinds of moments: staring at the blank screen for periods of time.
What they do, however, is they don’t give up. They keep at it.
I read a story (I wish I could remember where) about a lawyer who decided to become a writer. So he simply started writing - he wrote several hours a day for years. If I recall correctly, it was around three years after he managed to get published. He won some awards and became quite well known.
Another story is about a guy who worked in a financial area and decided to become a programmer. So he told his parents that he’s going to move back to their place (they weren’t very hopeful about his goal) and that he’s going to teach himself programming for the next three months. Fast forward: he became a successful developer.
What these stories have in common is that if we would just stick around long enough at something, we can become whatever we want to become. But we have to stick around.
Nowadays all the information is out there. Everything is online: thousands upon thousands of videos, articles, books, lectures, etc. There’s so much information about everything that you’ll never run out of it. You could probably watch videos on Youtube about any subject till the day you die and still not run out of material - not, that you should of course.
Writing every day will teach you commitment. I don’t like the word “self-discipline” that much, so I use “commitment” instead.
“Un ouvrage n’est jamais achevé . . . mais abandonné”.
Paul Valéry, “La Nouvelle Revue Française” (1933)
Committing to something means you stay at it no matter what. You’d rather die than quit. Because you want to, not because you have to. True, at first you have to, but after a while, it becomes “I want to.”
I urge you to start writing. It doesn’t mean you have to publish everything you write or course. The texts you write will remain, the ideas will remain, the lessons you’ll learn will remain - so you can always publish whenever you feel like.