Why I Write

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway

Why do I write these essays? I guess it’s partially a networking/resume thing. Potential business partners can see the things I’m interested in, passionate about, and things I have some experience with. But that’s more of a byproduct of the main reason I write.

I’ll tell you what doesn’t drive me: money. I could be earning passive income on this website by implementing ads, affiliate links, and sponsorships, but I choose not to[1]. The simple reason for this is that I write these essays for myself and for my family. I write for myself because I want to learn more about things (teaching and doing are the best ways to learn) and sometimes I just want to remember something important, so I write it down.

Those are my selfish reasons, but I also do it for my family. I want to build a journal of knowledge and wisdom about life and business that my family can use to better themselves even when I’m not here. When I’m not writing about things that feed my curiosity, then I’m writing about what I would want to teach my own kids; skills and lessons that would make them better, more holistic humans.

I make these essays public so that not only my family and I can benefit, but also you, a go-getter, and a curious learner can perhaps find inspiration, ideas, or something else that is good from reading these.

How I Write

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” – Ernest Hemingway

It all starts when I think of something seemingly important that I want to remember or discover something I want to learn more about. The first thing I do is ask myself if it can be condensed into a sentence or a paragraph. If yes, then I post it on my Twitter (I also post interesting/valuable articles I read). If it’s appropriate for the thought to be further elaborated, then I move it here where I can expand on it.

First comes the idea. Before a single word is written, I usually discover a pattern or a concept. Half of the time my ideas just come randomly. Other times, they come to me when I’m reading or listening to someone; whether it’s a casual conversation, a discussion in a business setting, a podcast, or an interview.

Sometimes the idea hits me like a freight train and I need to write it down immediately. That’s when I scribble the overall concept and main ideas in my draft for later. But other times, the idea creeps up on me over the span of weeks, and it stays in my thoughts until it becomes clear enough to write about.

I have a lot of papers in my drafts, many of which will never get published for different reasons. Usually because when I actually start to elaborate and write (and hence, learn) about the idea, I find out that it is actually wrong or just not as important as I initially thought[2].

What gets published are ideas that typically occupy a lot of my total thoughts for a period of time, even after writing them down in my notes. These ideas are usually something I have been thinking about either consciously or unconsciously for a while. But I certainly do not sit at my computer with a blank page and think “what topic should I write about now?”

The process of writing usually takes a single day, but I spend 1-3 weeks refining the essay[3]. I continuously re-read the entire paper until it sounds like it would if I were talking to someone.

I also try to make sure it accurately articulates what I’m trying to say. I typically focus each essay on just one or two core principles. Then to add context, I expand on the main idea by telling stories relating to them and build on peripheral ideas.

Writing is probably the single best thing I’ve ever done for myself in terms of learning and growth. I would highly encourage anyone and everyone to start writing, even if you never publish any of it.

[1] When money is involved, particularly with content creation, then it becomes almost impossible not to be influenced by people (who are indirectly your paying customers) to post about certain topics and write a certain way for more clicks. That is why all revenue-earning media companies have agendas, biases, motivations, and incentives. Removing money from the equation purifies the content from practically all influences and what remains is genuine.

Use this tool to see the political bias that exists on the website you get your news from.

[2] Had I not habitualized writing, then a lot of the topics that I learn about would’ve remained an idea or concept in my mind with a skewed perception of significance or understanding of it.

[3] Even if I feel certain that the essay is perfect, I sleep on it at least for a day or two and then revisit it after spending time away. After my sabbath, I always find errors I previously missed or things I can add or remove.