Saturday, May 30, 2009

It Feels Right To Write

It's time to answer a couple of questions.

People have asked me why I bother to blog? Some say it is a waste of time and many wonder where I find the time.

Let's answer one question at a time.

Question 1: Why Write?

Writing does take up my time. What doesn't? Even doing nothing takes up time. Time flies whether you choose to do something useful or not. The question here is whether it is a waste of time.

Tricky. A waste of whose time?

Is it a waste of your time reading my blog? You should know better. To me, this is a tiny problem for it is entirely your choice to read or not to.

Is it a waste of my time writing in a blog? Absolutely not. I have been writing in blogs for years and in this one since last year. I have not found a reason why I should stop doing it. On the contrary, I have found more and more reasons why I should continue to do so.

Here are some of them:

1. Write More Learn More

I do not write about personal trivia, at least, not here. Each time I whip up an article of about 1000 words, I would have read several related articles. They keep me informed and make me think.

Yes, think.

~ Watch your thoughts, for they become words ~
~ Watch your words, for they become actions ~
~ Watch your actions, for they become habits ~
~ Watch your habits, for they become character ~
~ Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny ~

2. Self Conversation

I have a busy schedule. In a typical work day, time flies and by late afternoon, my mind would have been stuffed with many question marks and exclamation marks. Just like eating food, we need to take a moment to 'digest' the going of the day so that we take stock of how things have gone by.

Writing is one of my ways to reflect on things around me. Putting down my thoughts in writing is akin to having a self conversation. I have a chance to ask myself questions and attempt to answer them.

Self conversation (or self reflection) helps me to 'absorb the nutrient of the day and discard the waste'.

"By three methods we may learn wisdom:
first, by reflection, which is the noblest;
second, by imitation, which is the easiest; and
third, by experience, which is the bitterest."
~ Confucius ~

3. Sharing and Shaping Values

Just like anyone else, I have my own set of values. My writing reflects my values and I allow them to be scrutinized. There are values in me which I believe are good and I want to share with like-minded people. There are values in me which I ought to refine, revamp or even remove. I am open to having wiser words going against mine.

At the end of the day, a good set of values is pivoted on one's perspectives. I am prepared to learn to see things from varying angles.

"Every positive value has its price in negative terms ...
the genius of Einstein leads to Hiroshima."
~ Pablo Picasso (Painter) ~

4. Improve Writing Skills

This seems obvious. We all know that practice makes perfect.

Writing was never my forte (not even now). I have never really learnt English grammar well and I had great difficulty spelling words right. Even reading was a chore. I could have chosen to stay where I was but I opted for a more sensible choice - move forward.

My writing still pale next to many writers out there. However, my writing today has been better than that of yesterday and that is what that matters most to me.

"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure."
~ Samuel Johnson (English author) ~

5. Modify Writing Style

Many friends told me that since they had their last paper in the final year examination, they have hardly written anything more than business reports and emails. By and by, they think and behave like how they write - stiff, cold and sometimes, in passive voice.

I was like them.

Here, I write in a style of my choice. I do not have to worry about executive summaries. I do not have to pitch it for my readers for I do not even know who they are. There is plenty of room for freedom.

"I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind."
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~
(French Pilot, Writer and Author of 'The Little Prince', 1900-1944)

So, these are just some reasons why I write. Others are well, perhaps, too personal to be shared here. If all these are a waste of my time, you gotta be kidding!

Question 2: Where do I find the time to write?

The answer is pretty simple: It is the same way as how you have found the time to watch your favourite soap opera on the television; walk your dog in the evening; window-shop in Orchard Road or play soccer during the weekends.

All of us have 24 hours a day, everyday, with the exception of the day we were born and the day we expire. You are your own boss on how you would like to use every minute of your life. I have decided that part of my time should go to writing.

Sorry to disappoint you but the answer is simply: YOU decide if you have the time.

"Until you value yourself, you won't value your time.

Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it."

~ M. Scott Peck (Author, psychiatrist)

I am writing more now and happily addicted to it. It takes up my time and occasionally much of it. It is not as if I have nothing else to do but thus far, it is one of the best investments I have made.

Blog is wonderful. I get to write (almost) anything I want. I get to publish it to a huge pool of potential readers. Best of all, it is free! Other than those times when I suffer from 'writer's block', I enjoy every bit of it. If it is not too disturbing to use 'therapeutic' to describe it, I would.

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it,

I don't feel I should be doing something else.

~ Gloria Steinem (journalist, feminist) ~

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