I recently subscribed to the 2011 challenge of posting on daily basis. It does not seem easy btw. It is difficult to articulate ideas and it is even more difficult to get them in the first place. Also, since I am not a professional writer, that is, I do not do this for living, writing a post a day goes against my way of writing: I only write when an idea really hits me. Also, given the reflective nature of this blog, reflecting by a plan goes against the concept of reflection. 🙂
Anyway, I was excited about the challenge and I told my kids, “I need your help. I am going to have to post something every single day!” “Does anyone have an idea of what to write?” I asked. One of them responded, “Maybe you should write about the challenge. Why do you want to write a post every day?”
I think it is a very good idea! I came to the computer and started thinking about the reason. Why do I really want to write? What is my intention? How is that useful to me? Or to people around me? I rarely get an orignal idea; so why everyday? And … if I get an idea that is not original, what is the point of wasting people’s time reading it? Am I trying to use writing to vent? Am I doing it so that I get praises when I write something good? Am I looking for the thumbs up or the “likes” count? I am not even advertising my blog that much, so what is the point? Maybe I should advertise it more aggressively. But why do I want to advertise and attract more people to what I write?
These and more questions came to my mind. I have to say that despite the negative answers all these questions may create, something within me tells me that it is extremely valuable to continue writing, even in an increased way. I could not try to explain what it is so I paused, thought, and tried, and came up with the following reasons for which I will write.
- Writing is skill and it helps other skills as well. Besides the skills you need to be a good writer, writing develops in you the ability to articulate your thoughts and put them in a more meaningful way, and gives you the opportunity to read your ideas after you articulate them. Unlike speaking, you can proof read, examine, reconsider, polish, rewrite, remove, etc. Reading your final product is like looking at a painting after you finish it. It is an amazing process that is essential to your mental and personal development. Unlike speaking, you produce ideas with less pressure and more focus. Hasty people like me learn deliberation and patience while writing. I even realized that it is better sometimes to end the conversation with someone and share a written correspondance with this person later.
- Sharing what you write is very important. Writing to yourself is like speaking to yourself, a sign of insanity (just kidding). But seriously, the fact that someone will read what you read (even if one person) makes it completely different. The opportunity to get feedback from people about your ideas is an opportunity not to miss. The feeling that comes to you that what you write may help someone overcome a challenge, solve a problem, get better, or even feel better is indescribable. The reward that you may get when your sincere words touch the heart of someone else is tremendous. Posting on the web has the potential to reach as many people as the whole world; you never know. A good word is like a seed that you plant and it can be a tree giving fruits for the rest of its life.
- Sharing reflections has a spiral effect. You share a simple idea. This idea stimulates another idea in someone else’s mind. This someone else, accordingly, write something that stimulates more ideas in your and others’ mind. And so on.
- Reading what you wrote a year later is really interesting. It helps you understand how your understanding, as one person, evolves. It helps you examine your ideas even more. It helps you find out how principled you are. It helps you find out how dynamic you are. Are you saying what everyone else is saying? Or you have your own identity and thoughts?
I still can’t describe how important writing is but for those reasons above and the ones I could not write, I will take on the postAday2011 challenge.
My only rule in what I write is the advice from the Prophet (pbuh) in which he said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Day of Judgment shall say good or stay silent.” I vow to only write good or stay silent, insha’Allah!