On Writing

I’m not bold enough to call myself a writer by any means. I know of too many people who are significantly more qualified at this activity than I.

I simply write because I need to in order to understand.

A few days ago, I casually picked up Haruki Murakami’s “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” and I read only the foreword, the rest of the book will follow at a later time. Murakami wrote that he often doesn’t know how he feels about something until he writes about it. I couldn’t help but open my eyes wide in understanding. He found the words I needed to understand my own struggle.

Understanding is elusive for me until I take the time to write something out. I organize my thoughts, I make connections, I reinforce ideas, and I understand both myself and what I’m thinking about much better.

And I kind of suck at talking. Particularly under pressure, in an argument, or with very passionate and strongly opinionated people who seem to want to prove their points above all others.

When I learn something and verbally share my thoughts with friends, my brain races all over the place. I am constantly reminded of tangents that MUST be explained, because without them, understanding is impossible. I often struggle to remember where I started and what point I was even trying to make.

There is a famous saying, attributed to various brilliant people including Blaise Pascal, Cicero, John Locke, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, and many more, that goes something like so: Forgive me for the long letter, I have not had enough time to write you a shorter one. For me, that is the value of writing – because with time, you can refine ideas and become a better communicator, a better student, and a more confident teacher. You can find better words.

I have recently been spending a lot of time on thinking about thinking, on learning to be a better learner – and one of the main things that I have understood, is that I must take my learning more seriously. I don’t have the ability to remember everything I read clearly. If I don’t take the time to actively think about what I have learned, then learning is just transient – it disappears.

So that’s the kind of writing you should expect to see here. I’m not a writer, I’m just a person who is curious and passionate about growing, about being informed, about understanding the world.

So I write to make sense.

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