Why I Write

Dinakaran Sankaranarayanan


Why I Write

For a really long time, I had this idea that writing must be exclusive for subjects or topics in which I have expert knowledge. So I had this notion of write only in areas where I have a good understanding of the problem domain and can offer thought leadership level stuff. I had the urge that the subject should be relatively new. It must not be a repeat of whatever is already available on the internet. It should add value to the reader. These thoughts made writing a herculean task because the time and energy required is humungous and is one of the main reason I stopped writing.

But over time and after reading and listening to so many people on the internet, I found out that this is not necessarily true. Writing helps to improve clarity on the topic to the writer. I believe this is one critical reason why writing can be rewarding. It does not matter whether the subject is just scratching the surface or go pretty deep, but at the end of the day, the process of writing by putting down our thoughts in the most original way helps to refine and reframe our understanding better.

Writing for Clarity

The moment I start putting down my thoughts on a topic in which I’m reasonably sure I had some idea and perspective, I either feel that I know very little to nothing or find it hard to articulate in a way that is easy to understand. Some times as I start writing, I have more and more doubts with my understanding. And it came as a surprise to me because I always had this idea that I understand this topic well, but still struggle to write.

So the first part of why I write is to get clarity on the subject or topic. As part of this, I may need to research to get better in-depth knowledge on the areas where I have no clarity. This whole process makes the writing exciting. Writing and re-writing can help to gain clarity.

Writing with context

As a by-product, I think the writing may help others too. I attribute this purely due to the perspective that each of us can bring to a topic. Our life and experiences may be totally different. The lens we wear always differs. For instance, most of the tech stuff that I read or learn explains the idea with a few pre-requisites. And this pre-requisite could be something that does not match with that of the reader. I approach most of my reading or learning from a Developer mindset and try to understand the new knowledge and try to fit into the scheme of things that am already aware of and have a solid understanding. This idea of learning and fitting into the already known context is super helpful. Writing on the new-found knowledge with a perspective on what it means to the developer can really connect with other developers.

Writing even if it is not perfect

I learnt the hard way that I’m never going to be satisfied with whatever I write. As I start to write, I’m am on the 20th line, and the 1st line feels pretty generic and bland. It also feels like lacking character, coherence and whether it really adds value. These supercritical thoughts can be soul-crushing because of the possibility that no one is going to read what I write. But over a period of time, I overcame this notion and started to write and publish even though it is not at the level in which I want it to be. Making peace with myself and moving ahead to continue writing one post at a time is the best possible approach I have adopted.

To summarize, I write for myself. The whole process is trying to understand and internalize the ideas and knowledge as much as possible. And at times, I hope the writing helps the internet at large. And to publish even if it not that perfect. Quality is always a moving target. It is good to improve quality over some time.