Posted on Wed, 12 Dec 2012
I've always loved learning, always felt the need to know about the world around me. When I was younger I would satisfy this desire mostly through pestering anyone who I thought might know something. Later on, I went to university to study science, but found that conducting experiments is tedious, and hard work. In more recent times, I've settled for satisfying my curiosity through reading.
I recently began to feel the urge to give something back to the process, and made a resolution to take up writing. This article is a manifesto of that resolution; I aim to clarify to myself, and to share with others, my reasons for wanting to write.
My first reason is also, in a way, the first stage in the writing process: to observe the world.
Many of us, myself included, tend to find ourselves going about our daily lives in autopilot, not paying much attention to what's going on. Writing gives me a specific reason to be more mindful of my surroundings, my self, and the situations I find myself in. To absorb the subtleties of life, and learn to appreciate them.
When you truly connect with the life you're living, life becomes an adventure.
The second reason, then, is to document the journey that is my life. So I can look back on my past experiences, and possibly learn from them; and hopefully find a way to present my experiences and observations in a way which is not entirely boring to other people.
Journalling gives me the opportunity to record my experiences and thoughts, and perhaps begin to process them into something more cohesive.
In the process of experiencing my own life, and reading the thoughts and opinions of others, I find myself developing my own concepts and ideas, much as I'm sure anyone else does. I find that unless I do something about it, these thoughts run in obsessive cycles in my mind, but writing has proven to be a helpful way of trying to organise these ideas. They can then be considered, worked through, and built upon.
Through writing, I hope to become more proficient at articulating my opinions, to improve my communication and conversation skills, to "find my voice", as it were. I hope to learn to be more open and honest with myself, and with others.
Through a willingness to question my beliefs and preconceived notions, I give myself the chance to be open to possibility, leaving room for creativity.
Writing is a medium through which I can practice expressing myself creatively. To learn to let go of my typically more logic-dominant mind, and let free-association have space to play, to be more spontaneous.
This means that writing is a means by which I can go beyond selfish, mindless consumption of information; an outlet through which to share my interpretation of life.
Writing, then, becomes a way of participating in the human conversation, to "put myself out there". Words have the power to entertain, amuse, teach, inform, and connect with people. They provide the potential to influence, for better or worse, the lives of others.
It is at this point that writing proves the ability to come full circle in my interaction with the world around me.
We now see that writing encourages a connection to being fully emersed in the present moment. It provides a record of experience to draw from, to learn and grow from. It encourages a sense of play, and a sense of sharing in life with other people.
Ultimately, writing is an expression of the appreciation for being actively involved in the act of living. Writing becomes its own reward.