Writing things on the Internet

I write more than I share my writing. One time I got lucky and one of my posts made it to the front page of Hacker News. I relished the few minutes of fame and told myself I should publish more often, but I didn’t. Recently I read a post on writing things on the Internet, and it got me to write again. Why is writing on the Internet important to me at all? This posts collects some of my thoughts on the matter.

Writing filters value.

I entertain a million thoughts a day, most of which are useless. Every so often I run into a gem which warrants a double take. So I jot it down, and rank it against all the other jots later. I’m confident whatever comes out of this process is valuable enough to write about. And it might be valuable for someone else to read.

Writing improves communication.

Communication is an important skill. If you don’t think so, remember the last time you wish you had used your words differently. My writing makes sense to me, but a true test of clarity is when someone else can make sense of it too. Exposing my writing to others for feedback is upstream of becoming a more effective communicator.

Writing breeds honesty.

I know I don’t know much about anything. Writing about something in detail is good proxy for me to gauge my understanding of a topic. People spend years making their experiences more accessible to others in the form of books, research papers, etc. Should I really feel comfortable holding an opinion about something if I haven’t attempted writing a 3 pager? Writing is not a silver bullet, but it’s worth something. Writing online is at the very least an attempt to figure out what I’m talking about it.

Writing captures opportunity.

The Internet is so integrated with modern life that I forget it is era defining technology. Once upon a time the printing press was a game changer. But its reach pales in comparison to the Internet. It has never been this easy to reach billions of people at near zero cost. Writing online massively expands the scope of personal opportunity at unprecedented scale.

Writing is carefree.

For a long time I was uncomfortable with sharing my writing, because I was afraid it would be the end of the world. I'm fortunate to now realize this was silly, self-centred fiction. Putting my writing out into the world is a great way to remind myself that no one cares about my writing as much as I do.

Writing is fun.

I enjoy writing. It takes effort, but it’s a satisfying effort. Sharing my writing, and everything else that comes along with it is a nice plus.