November 20, 2020

Why I Write

Someone posted into a Facebook group about the trepidation they had when they first started posting. It resonated.

I decided to respond :

This is a bit of a ramble - sorry, but I just wanted to get out of the brain onto … paper?

I registered my first domain in 1999, and probably pushed my first words into the ether a few minutes later. Never looked back - and sure - definitely, at times there is trepidation. Here’s the thing - forget like buttons and smileys - I do it for me. It has to be for me - its pretty clear that most of what I write is unread.

Someone once asked Ernest Hemingway how to be a writer. “Start writing’ said Hemingway. That’s what we do.

Did that same person ask Papa how to get published? Get read?

Not sure!

If anybody really agrees with you and lets you know - or disagrees - and lets you know - then we have the start of a conversation. (Ignoring idiot disagreements and trolls for the moment). And THAT is powerful. THAT is what starts to change the world.

I have a friend in the US who is a published author (Wiley) , one book … though countless in drawers and drives and even (sadly) containers. He is a wise man and on occasions ponders whether the stories he writes are really stories if only he has read them? (channeling fallen trees in a forest that nobody hears?). My point back is that lots of people journal - privately - it clears their minds. Those journals exist. They are real.

I journal (as in privately), but most of what I write spreads into too many domains for my own good.

  • - rapid commentary, think of twitter - but again - under my control that I can manage myself
  • - all kinds of stuff including archives of material from other blogs that I close down for one reason or another - most recently being close to 1,000 posts from my old consulting site - beyond bridges!
  • - the people first blog
  • - the people first newsletter
  • - a sadly dormant site where a friend and I were playing around with stories and commentary and attempted humour

I doubt very much if much of what I write is read. I write for me. I like it when someone digs something out of one of my sites and asks me a question but the writing remains essentially a public journal. (Excluding FB, since there is no real / meaningful way to pull stuff out once it has gone in.) If I want something to be part of ‘the canon’ - I also publish to one of my own sites - like I will do with this one so even when FB loses it - and pushed it down the ranking - I will still be able to find it and so will others.

All of this to say you and I don’t know each other - but I do enjoy what you write and thankyou for that, in particular …

When I read;

”When I notice some feeling to post, especially a strong feeling, then I examine it against my principles, my values, my self-knowledge and my knowledge of others. I ask myself what is my motivation to post. What’s my agenda, what’s my game?”

I am with you, I probably do the same - but it is almost unconscious now. I know not to engage with people about COVID and TRUMP, so I don’t. If you look, you will find my thoughts - but away from places that people are likely to read them. 😄 But all else, I’m ready. Let’s talk.

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Marketing Help I wrote this in response to someone asking a question in a group I belong to. As always with long detailed responses, capturing it here so that I