Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Writing is Hard

Writing publicly or for any large audience is gut wrenching. Most of the time I prefer public speaking to public writing because once something is written, saved and published its out there forever. When I'm speaking my words are ephemeral and they seem to hold less weight than the words I write. Consequently whenever I'm writing I will analyze every word, every sentence and every paragraph. I'll go through a dozen synonyms, multiple sentence arrangements and periodically restart the whole thing from scratch. Needless to say this process takes a lot of time, but I'm trying to get better at it. Part of why I started this blog was to force myself to write more. I figure the only way for me to become better at writing is to keep practicing and judge my own successes and failures. Or better yet have others judge my successes and failures - though I get enough of that at work. Although blogging has definitely helped I've found that recently I haven't been writing enough of my own thoughts in my blog.

Today is the unofficial 1 year anniversary of my blog. The actual anniversary was a couple of months ago but that day came and went and I entirely didn't notice. I guess I'm not very good at being sentimental. Maybe that's what I should work on next. Which reminds me that I need to send someone a VERY belated happy birthday message. It seems like for some people being sentimental comes naturally. On the spectrum of rational vs. emotional I fall pretty squarely on the rational side. I've always thought, what's so special about doing something for 1 year? Like one of my friends often says "every day I'm setting a personal record for consecutive days alive." Now I'm starting to think that's the wrong attitude. It's not that there's something extra important about a year but rather that its a convenient time to reflect. I can't spend all my time reflecting, if I did I would never get anything done. But without reflecting every once in a while its all to easy to live without asking "why am I doing this?" or "what do I value about this?"

So what is it that I value about my blog? First is the sharing aspect, here I get to share whatever I might find interesting and my thoughts about it. To me sharing has been one of the most rewarding parts of life, watching other people get excited about things that I get excited about is incredible and hearing their take on it even more so. In a way it becomes a virtuous cycle of sharing. Second it helps me keep track things that I found interesting for later on. On several occasions I've been in the middle of a conversation and referred people to something I've written about in my blog - always an awesome feeling. And finally it helps me organize and focus my thoughts. I find it really easy to get overwhelmed by information and my endless to do list that keeping focus for a blog post, especially one this long is difficult. By forcing myself to sit down and spent 15 or 20 minutes writing and thinking about one subject I feel that I can understand it much better than if I didn't have to write about it.

Now finally what more do I want to get out of it? I want to write more about experiences and feelings rather than thoughts. I try my best to think and write objectively. This is good when thinking about politics or economics but bad for life since so much of life is subjective and its the subjective parts that are unique and interesting.

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