Saturday, October 24, 2009

why i like to write

Why do I like to write?

Why do I like to write? Or for that matter why does anybody like to write? What need does it satisfy?

At a basic level, writing is a form of telling. When you meet interesting people or visit interesting places, you like to share information about these to others. You can add your bit of flavour in the commentary or in the narration, but it is essentially “telling” others what you have seen. “Peopleogues” and “Travelogues” fall under this. Sometimes, even sports writing or pieces about events can be classified under this.

At another level, writing is about creating an imaginary world that satisfies enormous number of fantasies. This is especially true of fiction writing. It allows you to dream, invent characters and objects that will do things that are not possible in real life. It could be an escape route from the everyday drudgery for many.

At yet another level, writing is about sharing your opinion on something. It could be in any subject that is of interest to you. You get into the issue, analyse it and acquire a different perspective. And this stimulates you enough to want to share it with the rest of the world. It is a deeper and a more involved pursuit than the first two. While the former require width and exposure, this one requires a more thorough and a studied approach. A well-researched piece of article or book on any subject has the potential to change people’s thinking. At its peak, it is a powerful influence on humanity. This form of writing comes under non-fiction.

This last one interests me the most. Especially the ability to “influence”. While getting into an area and studying it thoroughly, one’s own perspective on it may undergo a sea- change. And that excites me no end. What can be more rewarding than picking up a problem, tossing it around amongst a group of “relevant experts”, and coming to well thought out conclusions on the issue?

The whole process forces you to change from within. To start with , just the act of meeting many people exposes you to the world at large- that you begin to feel connected. Secondly, establishing trust with the respondents in order to get a genuine set of answers expands you as a person. It does not come in the first one or two meetings, It requires discussions, contradictions and further discussions. It has to become clear to them that you are really interested in understanding the issue at hand. And that, while doing so, you will in no way demean their reputation or short circuit their opinion. It is a much bigger task than it appears to be. Thirdly, you also learn to ask the “right” questions. This makes your own thinking process more clear. You end up crystalising the “big picture” in any problem and weaving a framework around it for a methodical study. And finally, as you reflect on the answers given by them, you cannot but partake in the “emotional journey” of others. You may agree or disagree but you end up processing the issue in a deep manner. And as you share your views with them, they also feel joyous that someone else is actually “taking” the pain of “thinking” through issues for them. For both parties, it is a very enriching experience.

And it is this experience is what translates into well researched and analysed “writing”. Reading a piece such as this can open up many minds in a way that could not have been imagined before. In fact over a period of time, one begins to utilize the same analytical skills that have been used in the writing, to analyse real-life issues. And a certain objectivity and rigour set into one’s own thinking. Done more and more, it becomes a habit; and you begin to relish life experiences because you look forward to acquiring “new perspectives” on old issues.

So why do I like to write? Because perspective building- both at an individual level and at an audience level energises me. And I am able to use that energy to propel myself forward in other areas of my life.

So that’s what writing means to me- perspectives. Through this article, I hope I have been able to get across a fresh perspective on “writing” to you!

Thank you for your patient reading.

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