First things first: This blog exists mostly for myself. It exists because I was looking for means that would coerce me to write more — and better. See, nowadays we use written communication as much as never before, but I'd argue that at the same time the quality of our writing is in deterioration. At least, for me it is. I noticed that when I was younger, I enjoyed writing a lot more, and I remember being relatively good at it, but years of typing e-mails, text messages, and other one-liners somehow seemed to have damaged that ability.
So now I'm trying to get better at writing, hoping that on the one side being more proficient at it would bring back some of the pleasure in doing it, and on the other hand for the practical reason that being able to write well is a tremendously useful skill.
There's lots of things people suggest to improve your writing ability, and I'd like to try out two of them: The first is journaling. With an actual pen. On actual paper. (Yeah, I know....) The first thing I realized about that is that I almost forgot how to write with my hand: I started journaling a couple of weeks ago, and looking at my scribble from back then I can hardly make out anything that resembles a word. Even worse, writing with a pen on paper for just a few minutes gave me a bad ache in my wrist.
After a few days of deliberate focus (and writing at a crawling speed in huge letters, almost like in preschool) I now manage to at least produce decent script that I can decipher again afterwards. But what about the quality of the content?
I found is that while journaling does force you to write, it doesn't necessarily force you to write well. There is something intriguing about just pouring your thoughts out onto paper, and mind you, from time to time, interesting things do come up in the process. But the finality of not being able to go back a few lines and edit, or to amend a thought from a paragraph earlier makes it hard — for me — to actually produce anything that I would want anyone to read. The absence of — even a fictional — audience adds to that as well, as there's just no psychological reason to make sure the output is any good if you can be sure that nobody will ever look at it again. Nevertheless, I agree that the pure practice of putting something into words on a regular basis can be a healthy exercise.
The second suggestion that often comes up about writing better is to make sure that you write something every single day. While journaling certainly fits well for that, I think I'll have to put the bar a bit higher for me: I want to write a couple of sentences every day, but I also want them to be read be an audience — at least a theoretical one. There's simply a bit more rigor involved if you think you're speaking to an actual audience, even if that audience (a) doesn't exist at all, (b) consists only of people I know, or (c) consists of strangers on the internet.
So, yeah. this is what this blog is all about: It's primarily writing practice for me, and a way to better structure some of the topics I think about. For example, lately the topic of time has been on my mind a lot, particularly the question what constitutes good use of our time. I put that into an article on Medium.com that I also republished here: On Time. If you have time to read it (pun intended) and have an opinion on the topic, feel free to reach out. I'm available on Twitter, LinkedIn, or via e-mail.