I started writing on inteleksi.com a year ago. Here are some of the things I’ve learned:
1. Amateur writing can actually take a lot of energy, I mean, a lot.
In trying to write things that genuinely benefit others, I discover that it actually demands more of me than I initially thought.
And I now agree that a writer, very often, is his own worst critic. I have received generous compliments by my readers. (You know who you are. Thank you.) But there’s this voice in my head that always sees something wrong with each of my writing. I am still learning how to negotiate with that voice.
This experience also teaches me, as a reader, to appreciate what I read, perhaps more than ever before. Because now, when I see a piece of impactful writing, I also see the writer, and the energy and love that she or he pours into it.
2. Ideas are transient, and we lose them more often that we realise.
I’ve learned that great ideas don’t like scheduled appointments. They visit us at inconvenient times, and then leave if we don’t quickly give them a space to grow.
I have become more aware of so many ideas I have lost because I was too busy doing other things to write them down. It makes me wonder how many creative ideas we deprive ourselves, our students and children, every time we overdose everyone with job, homework or mindless entertainment.
So think about your own life. Are there any changes you can make to give your creativity more space to grow?
3. Writing for others is a powerful agent of self-reflection.
When I started, I did have an inkling that writing for others might help my own development. Now, after a year, I am surprised at not only how true it is, but how important it has become.
I noticed, for example, that the period in which I write less for others is the period I spend less time reflecting on my own life. We can sometimes get so busy working on our job that we forget to work on our self.
One of my worst fears is, to be busy and rushing day after day, then wake up one morning as an old man, asking myself how I got there, regretting that I haven’t truly thought about my own life.
So, I am grateful to those who encouraged me to start this project and who have supported me from then on.
“The best way to find yourself,” according to Gandhi, “is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Serving the readers has become one of my ways of finding myself.