I stopped writing for others in 2012—also called leaving the educational system. I began writing for myself in 2013 as I started the autodidactic journey. It’s been sporadic and blundering. However, it didn’t feel difficult; thus I knew I was moving in the right direction. I just didn’t know why.
I sent the essays to friends for feedback. They would invariably ask: “Why are you writing? What is the goal of this essay? Who is the audience?”
So I had to think. It made me think of something else I love: sleep.
One of the—among the many—reasons why I love sleep is because I actively feel my mind being organized. I wake each morning admiring the librarian’s work categorizing the thoughts, feelings, and experiences from the day’s disordered piles into their proper catalog. Writing is my turn as the librarian.
To steal prose…I write to learn what I know.
I start with a friction in reality – whether it’s a simple question, a contradiction, or a confusion – and I explore the space until I feel I have arrived at a novel and useful answer.
Now, it is unlikely I will capture many novel ideas. Nevertheless I will take solace acting as a conduit for those who came before me.
Secondarily, I write because I’m a bad writer. I want to cultivate my writing ability, which advances my critical thinking. The librarian improves her map.
Finally, I write to obtain your feedback. I value when others improve my thinking.
Who do I hope is interested? Well, I primarily write for myself to address the question du jour, but I imagine others may share the same question. And they often do. I aspire for their feedback to advance our understanding.
To catalog these ideas: 1) purpose: I write to refine and improve my thinking; 2) goal: I start with a question and publish with a useful insight; 3) audience: those who share my curiosity in the question and desire to improve our collective understanding through discourse.
April 1, 2017
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA