Why I write?

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Fareed Zakaria wrote an excellent piece about the power of writing.

I have been thinking from last few days about how people used to streamline their thoughts before writing became mainstream. My guess is through brainstorming. Another point can be that since amount of information available was much less at that time, it was perhaps easier to express.

There is, in modern philosophy, a great debate as to which comes first – thought or language. I have nothing to say about it. All I know is that when I begin to write, I realize that my “thoughts” are usually a jumble of half-baked, incoherent impulses strung together with gaping logical holes between them. It is the act of writing that forces me to think through them and sort them out. Whether you are a novelist, a businessman, a marketing consultant or a historian, writing forces you to make choices and brings clarity and order to your ideas.  – Fareed Zakaria

The quote above is the best ever I have seen about power of writing. For me, writing is the best self-expression tool. It’s also deeply satisfying.

It’s also true that a lot of finer ideas have come to me when I started with an idea and started writing about it.

The same logic holds true to an extent for speaking also. It’s tough to get audience for your content though and that also when you feel like. It can be accomplished with writing, as long as you have pen and paper and computers these days (though I have not completely abandoned pen and paper).

In reality, the power of writing goes far beyond aforementioned points. In my case I write to live and live to write (slight exaggeration).

Another interesting aspect about writing is that I can not force myself to write. I tend to write when I have strong thoughts and strong emotions together. There is no other way I can write even if I am paid a million dollars.

The previous point got me to think that are writers happy people. The kind of deep satisfaction which self-expression brings about is unimaginable. I think people for whom writing is culmination of a deep thought process and observations, are very happy while if someone is writing for a living because they have to write, it can be deeply mechanical and frustrating.