Why you should write

This was a slack message in response to one of the young guys at work who asked

Wanted to ask does writing blogs about things help you with remembering details about those things and does it just gives you more clarity about what you had worked on ? Asking since,  lately i have worked on some interesting things but somehow i forget details. wondering if writing could help with this.

Writing is where I go when I have no choice.  When I keep repeating thoughts, when there is no way to untangle a mess.

People think good writing is about the words you use or the imagery you invoke. That's not really true.  That's pretty writing.  Pretty writing is pretty, but it's not always good.

Good writing is nothing more than clear thinking.  But clear thinking is really, really hard.  Writing, especially when edited (as opposed to just thinking or talking) let's you craft with confidence a connection between different ideas.

It forces you to explicitly define that connection, and why it is relevant so that another may understand it.   But the benefit is mostly your own.

So should you publish?  I publish about 1% of the shit I write.  Most pieces are hardly read, but I've found that I can't manufacture the pressure of public exposure, so I publish anyway to force myself to a higher standard.  In that, it's worth doing.

But also, some of my blog posts have gone viral and that's been good for my career, getting speaking engagements, etc. etc.

So yes, start writing.  I recommend the first thing to do is to make a time for journaling every week.  Shut off the internet, keep an hour to just document what went well last week, what you fucked up, why, how you will fix it and most importantly, what your intentions are for the week, and for life.

Sounds daunting, but it's just an hour. Even 20min is a good start.  This is one of the best practices I've picked up (even if I bail sometimes).

So good luck and just start.

Jacob Singh
CTO in residence at Sequoia Capital. Independent product and Engineering Coach Mediocre guitarist, singer, rock climber, point guard and baker Dedicated dad. American in New Delhi.
New Delhi