2 books, 10s of blog posts, and a thousand of notes later, to write has become an essential part of my life. It becomes a tool to communicate the ideas I have, the work I have done or to express my emotions for people. But as the time have passed, my interest towards writing pieces have fluctuated a lot, where it has varied from one article a day to an article in months. But what caused this fluctuations? Why did the output vary soo much? Let’s discover it together 🙂
Looking for that satisfaction
Its been close to 3 years I have been writing regularly. When this started, it used to be an article every other day and then the frequency started to decrease. Part of that was having a full time job, but other part was a bit more intriguing. Over these years, I realized I didn’t put the same effort in everything I wrote. There were articles that got published on high traffic platforms, but I wasn’t satisfied. Then there were articles which were published without much publicity, but I was satisfied. So, what caused this difference? It was more personal.
Writing to express
When I started writing, the reason behind it was more to express my ideas and views and less to find hundreds or thousands of readers. I wrote articles about tech, the work I was doing, what I explored. I was genuinely interested in talking about them. Writing an article didn’t mean just elaborating upon what I worked, but to share that knowledge, put words to the thoughts and to see whether I can explain what I knew.
The words weren’t censored, they were raw, they expressed that exact emotion I had. They communicated not just the idea, but also what I feel about it.
This habit soon extended and writing became a mechanism to communicate the emotions, what I felt. I ended up writing notes to people, sometimes even songs. I was happy, I used to write everyday. Writing became a way to express.
When articles were published, some of them saw a good number of views, while others not soo much. At this point I won’t deny that I was also interested in getting those thousands and millions of views. This started to slowly show its impact. I started to look for different writing styles, some of them were common and some not soo common. I started to modify my writing style to experiment what worked and what didn’t. Initially all of this was fun, and some writing styles did work better than the ones which I was using. Things were good, till they weren’t. I slowly started to write less, I didn’t feel that excitement anymore and all of this was easily shadowed under the umbrella of, yea, I am busy!
But the real reason was much more hard to find. The reason which led to this decline wasn’t the amount of work, but rather the fact that those pieces of writing were not a reflection of what I thought, they were very carefully thought of, a lot of words and ideas censored. This caused the interest to decline, and eventually the output too.
Opportunities may bring money, but not satisfaction
In between this timeframe, I got some paid writing opportunities. Well, getting payed for something that you are doing anyways is good, isn’t it? As it turns out, the answer might not always be a yes.
Writing is not my profession, I do it to express and elaborate on the ideas I have, or the work I do. But in contrast to this, I accepted some monetary opportunities which required me to write on areas which I have worked on, but never really felt a need to write about. Well, the outcomes weren’t much surprising. Multiple email threads, a couple of deadlines missed, the writeups were delivered, they were appreciated and I was paid. But I wasn’t excited. The feeling was neutral and rather on the verge of, good this is over.
Though these opportunities bring a monetary incentive, the topics weren’t something which bring an excitement in me. So, lesson learned… learn to decline. It’s better to not write an article at all than to write it half heartedly.
For every piece you write, it is important to do justice to that writeup (even more so if you are a professional writer). Half hearted articles neither bring an excitement to the author, nor do they communicate the ideas passionately to the reader. As an author, for topics I am interested in writing about, the articles have my heart and soul in them. But doing justice to an article is not just having passion to write it, it involves much more.
When you stay original, stick to the writing style you are most comfortable with, the articles start to turn up good. Those articles are not just informational, they also express the feelings of the author, that energy of the author when they are writing that piece.
Remember those reads which kept you hooked to them? That subtle humor and those intricacies, those represent the originality and how much passionate the author was when they were writing that piece.
Research before you write
An article which provides genuine satisfaction doesn’t just consists of originality of the author, but is also well researched. This is a fact. For every article that I have written, they at times required querying innumerable sources which consisted of blogs, wikis, books and what not. These articles elaborate what you want to tell, and intuition is not the strongest backer one can find.
Those well researched articles have helped me not only to communicate my ideas, they have also helped me to improve my knowledge about those topics. Also a confession, sometimes, that added research and better knowledge of the topic can also become a reason to drop that write-up altogether.
Writing has been a great journey for me, and something which I plan to continue for a long time to come. But this journey has also provided those important lessons. To decline those opportunities which I don’t feel excited about. To put that research in, before publishing an article. And most important, to stay original. Because when you can’t do justice to your own writing, how will you do justice to the reader.
Also published on Medium.