Writing is not just the description of thoughts by using words, it is much more a process of thinking that can stand on it's own. By way of forcing the author to string his thoughts into coherent sentences writing not only encapsulates those thoughts to be read and possibly expanded upon by others but furthermore it makes the author think about or rethink what he or she is about to say.
To me, writing is a way of thinking much more focused about a question or topic and instead of thinking, writing is a slow and linear process, because I have to focus on one thought at a time and then try to transcribe that thought with words to the best of my ability.
Writing for me is a tool. A tool to expand upon brief ideas or more elaborate thoughts I have and ideally string a multiple of those together into a coherent package, which, if you have read a few of my other articles, is not always the case.
But since you can only get better at something if you practice it enough I will just keep working on it.
Doing that a recognized what a lot of other writers recognized too, that just the simple act of writing my thoughts down helps me to remember them better. So I started writing more. Moving from simply jotting down technical todos to collecting thoughts on not only design but simply on what interests me.
Those writings are a kind of personal journal that helps me keep tabs on various aspects I carry around with me for a certain amount of time. Because when I write something down I know this topic already has a personal merit for me.
Writing down those topics often cements them further and helps to free capacity from memory to be used elsewhere. This does not mean that the capacity is not used any more but rather that I can concentrate on expanding on certain ideas rather than trying to keep everything in memory. A very interesting aspect of sourcing out memory by way of wrting is that I can review those texts from time to time which sometimes leads to interesting discoveries in itself. Especially if a few weeks or months have passed since writing it down. The text than functions as a kind of time capsule that freezes a thought on a topic I may or may not have elaborated on in the meantime, depending on the trajectory I am on.
This forces me to reflect on my own thoughts and sometimes rephrase certain ideas. But since the internet is a tecnology that is very different from printed matter in that it allows me to constantly revise my writing and even makes it feasible to collect simple thoughts and ideas I have decided that it was about time to share some of my thinking with a wider audience with the prospect with it being a help to someone else out there.
To me my writing is less final products, but more or less an ongoing exploration of ideas and to keep in line with the conception of the internet itself the content here is to be seen fluid and may be subject to change from time to time while other texts may remain a time capsule for months or years to come. To keep the evolution transparent I will implement a revision timeline that keeps track of any major changes.
On the same note I integrate my writings into different categories, depending on how fleshed out the content is, ranging from simple snippets that represent short, unfinished thoughts or ideas like this one to more elaborate texts that dig a little deeper, including facts and footnotes, which you then find in the features section.
Writing is a skill on it's own. Like any skill it has to be practiced. (For further musings on talent and skill please head over to the dedicated article.)
Writing takes a long time and a lot of effort. There is a difference between banging out a short text and hitting the publishing button or taking your time to nurture, edit and fact-check your text. This is why I have different sections of texts on my site which represent different kinds of writing. There are the shorter articles which resemble a written down thoughts and which rarely have gone through more than one stage of writing and one quick edit before being published to the site.
Then there is the features section which contains the more elaborate texts which have gone through multiple stages of editing and contain footnotes and sources you can use if you are interested to get deeper into the topic.
Another reason I write is because it is a slowly diminishing skill. We live in the age of Twitter and instant messaging and online you find a plethora of videos that are nothing more than a few moving images added to a text. But what if you do not want to have someone else dictate you the visuals? Or what if you want to read a more elaborate piece of writing where the author has took his time to craft an interesting, intelligent text? Too many texts on the internet read as if their authors didn't ever spare a second thought and in times of shrinking sales even respected newspapers seem to rush out their content just to get a little attention.