Why you should write too
I enjoy writing, but every so often I look at the words on my screen, and think: this has been said a thousand times before. Why am I writing this? I came up with a few reasons because as Benjamin Franklin put it:
“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”
What are my reasons? Why write something written before?
Reasons #1: Reaching more people
I write because I figure out or learn something so important that I want to share it. Often, it’s something that other people have found out before. My article then serves as a reminder of the importance of the topic. I want to amplify the power of the original thought and help it reach people who may need it. I function as a human relay machine and sometimes add a new thought or two.
Reason #2: Creating an experience
I’ve articulated several times to my friends that, to me, writing is comparable to composing music, more precisely a movie soundtrack.
With movies, you have the script, the raw basis for the movie, then there is the actual movie shoot, where the script is turned into video and audio, then comes editing and on top of that the soundtrack.
With writing, you have the thought, the raw basis for the piece, then there is the actual writing, where the thought is turned into sentences and paragraphs, then comes the editing and on top of that the writing tone.
The soundtrack can make or break the movie. It can make it great. When it is in harmony with the scenes, it works. It makes the viewer feel something.
Similarly, the tone of writing, the precise way the text is structured and put together, can create the same harmony and inspire the reader to do something.
That’s what I aim to do every time I write — create a harmony that resonates with whoever reads the article and deliver my thought in a way that helps the person make their life just a bit better. Or a lot better.
I’ll close with Neil Gaiman’s quote, which is about writing fiction, but in my opinion holds true for any kind of writing.
“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Why couldn’t you write too?