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An Honest Reflection: Why and What I Want to Write

This post I will explore why and what I want to write.

Before I can ask myself why I want to write, I would have answer the question, do I want to write?

Well, I know I love to read. I remember as a kid, my mom would tease me for taking too long to poop. I wasn’t caught until sixth grade, when she found a copy of Eragon under the bathroom sink. I was and am a compulsive reader.

I usually question what I know about myself, but I can easily accept as fact that I love to read.

I can also accept that I enjoy thinking. I believe there are meanings, explanations, and systems behind most things, and I think hard to uncover them. I’ve been described by a friend as intense in this way.

If I enjoy reading and thinking, it must be likely I enjoy writing. Reading and researching, and thinking and analyzing precede writing.

Now, I’ve read writing is distilled thinking. So, what I would hope to enjoy as well is this distillation — the revising of a piece. I haven’t done a lot of this before. I might enjoy it less than reading and thinking.

Still, I have faith if I master the discipline and skill to distill my thoughts, I would come to enjoy this more.

You may find it odd I have to derive whether I enjoy writing, especially in such a roundabout way. Shouldn’t I just know?

Shouldn’t I just wake up and yearn to write?

I wake up and want to journal, sometimes. I can’t say I yearn though. I’m not worried about this though — time will tell if I enjoy it enough to write regularly.

OK. I’ve established I can enjoy writing. What then, should I write?

Hmm. Well, what do I read and think about?

What I read: The last five books I downloaded were Pachinko, Man’s Search for Meaning, The Silk Roads, The Lean Startup, and I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Bloggers I like include Kris Gage, Paul Graham, and Ben Thompson. I like my friend Ophelia’s blog.

What I think about: My mind wanders to friendships, family, identity, India, other countries, poverty, products, startups, people. When I journaled regularly last winter quarter, the recurring topics were relationships, life philosophy, career choices, books I’ve read.

This suggests that I would be able to blog about travel, product, books, relationships, and life. (Articles on product would require more effort.) This distribution resembles what I read, and what my mind wanders to, but not what I journal. I journal disproportionately about relationships and life philosophy.

This was a bottom up approach to see what I would write about. The top down version directly asks me what I want to write.

I have imagined myself writing novels, and I have imagined myself writing a memoir. Realistically, I am not necessarily suited to writing either. I might never be. I’m attached to the “idea” of writing a novel or a memoir, and probably not the process. I sense this is dangerous.

It’s important I write because I enjoy it, not for the “idea” of writing something. Otherwise, I would drop writing. I’ll avoid fixating on my long-term writing goals, and focus on enjoying the process.

Alright, so at a high level, I’d like to write blog posts about travel, product, books, relationships, and life. I’ll first focus on improving my writing skills, over looking good. Success for me should be improvement.

The Plan

I’ll blog publicly twice a week, with no word count. The more I blog, I realize the posts devolve into journal entries — undistilled thought. I’ll instead journal privately 400 words everyday.

Hopefully, this keeps me writing and revising and enjoying.