7 Reasons for Why I Write

Rahul Rajeev
6 min readMay 28, 2021

Last week I decided to write something every week. It is a public promise and I am here to keep that promise. The idea is simple, to write and write until I see some visible improvement in my craft.

My initial urge was to write on the topic “why do people write?”. Immediately after I started writing on that title I realised I was way underprepared to give justice to it. So I reframed the topic into “Why I write?”. Since it is something I know very well, I can write about it with confidence.

Stock image of a person writing on his note book

Reason 1: It’s cool

Since my childhood, I have loved reading fiction. Every new book was a trusted friend, a companion taking me into a whole different reality. Since books are cool, I was convinced writers too are.

Now I am 27 years old and I seldom read fiction. But I do read a lot of non-fiction. I am fascinated by how different authors present their point, their way of thinking, their logic and how they form their sentences. I find their ability to articulate abstract concepts as something close to pure magic.

When I sit back and ask myself why do I write, my most honest answer is the simplest. I have the strong belief writing is “cool”. It connects me with ideas bigger than myself and I find great joy when entrenched deep in it.

Reason 2: It helps me think

This is the biggest reason why I have continued writing on and off all these years. Writing helps me think. In fact, writing is thinking for me. It serves as the sharpening tool for my in-process ideas and arguments. Writing is the scaffolding for my overstimulated, always distracted human brain.

I consume a lot of information and I tend to be an overthinker. Day in, day out I do the same things over and over again without showing any output for it.

I believed consuming more knowledge and updating myself of the recent trends in technology, science and politics made me wiser, smarter every day. To be honest, I almost fooled myself into believing in that. I mistook familiarity for deeper understanding.

But recently I realised how empty I am. I know things but I don’t know how those things matter or how I can connect the things I know with life as I live it.

I realised I needed to think deeper, to make sense of whatever I consume. I had to reflect and process the information I was receiving. Writing is the easiest way by which I am able to do all that. It helps me organise what I know. It forces me to re-examine and judge what I know, presenting myself with a clearer representation of gaps in my knowledge.

It is through writing I am able to externalize what I know, and then apply my thinking to remodel it as something that fits my reality and frame of reference.

Reason 3: It pays my bills

A pure materialistic reason for me to write is the fact that it pays my bills. I write for others and they pay me for it. Most of the money I have made in life has come through writing, directly or indirectly.

But the writing I do as a professional content writer is a bit different from my own personal writing. These days I am trying to bridge the gaps between the two and build better horizontal coherence across all my writing activities.

I write copies for a living and when I am not busy I write to make sense of my own life.

Reason 4: It keeps me sane

Oh yes. I don’t have a therapist, I write a diary instead.

Just like how writing helps me think and make sense of new and existing knowledge, I use writing to process my emotions and mental state. I am not saying writing will keep the therapist away, but if you do write you will stay in touch with yourself. Emperor Marcus Aurelius, a bastion of stoicism was a prolific journal writer and it is through that writing practise he made peace with the world he was living in.

When overwhelmed, the act of sitting down to write about it slows me down. In that slowing down, my monkey brain is forced to switch from its natural “reactive” state to a state of contemplation. It lets me ask the more important questions like, does this really

Writing about my own feelings, slows me down enough to think and ask the more important questions. Some of those questions goes as such, does this (an event I am reacting to) really matter to me?; How much of all these are really under my control? If it indeed it is a thing that matters, writing helps me accept the matter as it is. The faster I get to accept the way things are the better I am equipped to deal with it.

The famous writer and thinker David Foster Wallace once explained that education is all about developing the know-how of choosing what one thinks about at any given moment.

For every emotion we feel, we do have the option of how to react to it. Wallace asks us to not react by default; he asks us to react by choice. Writing helps me find that choice, to reframe what I think about any given situation.

Reason 5: Share ideas better

The Internet has revolutionized information proliferation. Written word through blogs has made it much easier to share thought and ideas with others. Even though I have a paralyzing fear of sharing my thoughts and ideas with others, writing makes me more articulated while presenting such ideas.

As I become a better writer through writing, I learn to articulate more. This improves the chances of somebody out there finding value from what I write.

Human struggles and problems are universal. The struggles I face are the same struggles a lot of people might be going through. So when I make the effort to write something and when I am brave enough to share it out into the world, there will be at least one person that will benefit from it (There is also the reality that the one person might not see what you write immediately. If not today, later they will find it if you are still here sharing this stuff). The only thing I should take care of, when comes to sharing is that I cut the fluff down, pack what I write with value and respect the time of my reader. If I can do that the loop is perfect. I write to help myself, by sharing it with others I help them, by writing it with intent I make it easier for the reader.

By sharing my writing I am also adding to the collective human knowledge repository.

Reason 6: It makes me a better writer

It is the most satisfying reason for me to keep on writing. The act of writing forges me into a better writer. As I keep writing I start noticing those little things that I can improve. By putting my work out there in the world, others like you will come along the way with their suggestions.

I like to believe that if I keep writing, at least one percent of my writing can evolve into new directions that I could not have foreseen.

Reason 7: It is the cheapest hobby that you can practise

I can’t skip this reason even though it is obvious. The upfront cost for writing is almost none. I started writing with an HB pencil and single line notebooks. Today, we have the luxury that none of the greatest writers of history has — the power of handheld computing devices. Picking up a writing hobby is as easy as texting my close friend. The only real investment I need to make is in the form of my attention and time. I am more than happy to sacrifice my time bingeing the latest shows on Netflix for writing. As a side advantage, I get to be very choosy about what I pick to watch.

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