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Why I Write

November 17, 2014

The 50th post on the Holistic Thinker I think is a fitting time to discuss why I write a blog (as distinct from other writing). You are warned that this is a slightly indulgent affair.

What I Don’t Write For

There’s a very long list that could go here. Lets list some significant reasons:

  • Money
    • I’d love to make money, but this blog has a very limited reach
  • Fame
    • I’m partial to popular adulation, but I’m anonymous on this blog
  • Intellectual enlightenment of everyone

This last one is worth saying a bit about. If you look at the about page I talk a lot about ‘thinking holistically’ , that is, exploring life in all its multifaceted parts etc. Originally, I thought this blog would explore some bold intellectual topics. My first post The Grand Synthesis laid out this vision. There was to be some ‘Foundations’ as the category shows now on my blog, but mostly we’d be delving into exploring all those facets. Deconstructing complex matters… a very intellectual affair you might say.

But as I said in the about page, actually thinking with all the complexities in mind is a ‘tough’ standard to live up to. For instance, I talked about means and ends a while back, and how to actually calculate something you need to realise means are oftens ends in and of themselves. Eg. Work as a means to money is also an end in the sense that how you spend your time at work might influence your happiness through socialisation. And the principle is certainly useful. But to actually apply the principle, you know… calculate every single thing in existence!? That’s nearly impossible.

All this is to say that while my writing certainly seeks to enlighten my audience, I don’t make any pretence that it actually does so. Which leads me to…

A Crisis of Confidence

I just talked about how tough it is to actually produce a decent article with ‘holistic thinking’. In addition, its extremely tough to write well. I only truly admire a handful from hundreds of works from 6 years of high school. Similarly, I don’t think many of the blog posts are a tour de force, or earth shattering. What I have written has been written before. What I have said has been said before, and probably better. Many of my best posts are probably just appropriations of others’ work. And, are they any better? Couldn’t people just go the source and learn more? Do they really need my work? Am I, in producing my work, simply contributing to an oversupply of blogs online that crowd out the good advice around?

I’ve often thought about those above questions. And many times I’ve been thoroughly disillusioned by the answers! Check the archives – May 2013 – December 2013 there’s nothing. In 2014 there are weeks without articles. I could say that was because of the HSC. But in truth, if I was motivated, disciplined and such many more articles would have been written. It was very easy, and still is very easy for me to say that I’m not a good writer – the truth – and throw up my hands. So…

Why Do I Write?

Let me answer a different question to start with – why did I suddenly begin posting in December 2013 after a 6 month hiatus with nary a thought as to a short lived blog experiment?

Because I realised somebody had actually enjoyed and perhaps learnt something from it.

A lady who was a friend of mine said something to the effect “your blog is really fun to read! You should post more!” Which was really surprising considering I hadn’t even thought of the blog for months.  But anyhow, I made a few posts for her, and then a few more friends began to become interested, and we had a small audience.

And then this year I’ve had ups and downs with posting. Generally, when friends say they’d like me to post, posts happen. Why? Because often after a few posts people stop saying they want your work, and you lose the affirmation that what you write counts. ‘Why write?’ enters your mind. And then, they return, and the affirmation returns.

If you’re a reader, there’s a simple lesson – leave comments! Like! A voice that does not speak is a voice not heard. If you don’t ask for something you won’t get it! Too few compliments, generally, get given. I’m not suggesting you comment randomly, but if something impressive is posted, do comment! Feedback and guidance are always required!

On my end, the short of it is that I’m writing in the hope (hopefully not vain!) that maybe, just maybe, somebody’s learning something from reading this. Or, more likely, that they’re being reminded of something. Principles, common advice, and being reminded of these are what I see myself as writing for most often.

I have discussed ideals many times, in different guises. So too, have I discussed self-reliance in different forms. I doubt that I live up to my articles advice, and I’m sure my readers falter too. Nor do I believe that my articles are the best on the topic.

But they are reminders that may help others. And I hope that’s enough.


From → Foundations

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