Sometimes I don’t have anything particularly funny or snarky to write, and sometimes I’m in between more academically-aimed historical or other scholastic pieces. In those periods, I still have things I want to write about, they just fit somewhere in between. This is the third post in a category I call “In Between.”
Lately I’ve put a lot of thought into whether or not writing these posts and publishing them on this blog are worthwhile. Who the hell am I to be so arrogant as to think I have enough experience or worthy ideas to write authoritatively about anything? Why am I even bothering?
But I have plenty of reasons to write, I’ve concluded. I share these now in part because I want to have them written down so I can refer back to them in the future, but also because there might be someone reading this who is hesitant to write and who might find some of these reasons motivating.
I write because I have learned over time that I’m better at writing than I am at speaking. The pace of writing allows me the freedom to mull over word choice and sentence structure. It enables me to communicate far more effectively and elegantly than the spoken word. Some are blessed with the gift of gab, but I’m not one of them.
I write because I think I have something to say. One of the first posts I published was about what I learned from my first grad school semester in the Army ACS program. I wrote it because I couldn’t find anything written by anyone else on the subject, so why not be helpful and share my observations so that someone else may stumble upon them and make good use of them? Maybe the things I write can be helpful or even entertaining.
I write because I enjoy reading, and I often think, Hey, I could do that! But you can’t unless you try, and so I’m trying.
I write because I am inspired by those who already dove into and embraced the call to write about the military, about leadership, about history, about life lessons. They write about what makes them feel passionate. I admire these people because they put themselves out there, which in and of itself takes a certain amount of courage. I admire them, and so I emulate them, if only as an amateur could.
I write because I want to get better at writing. I want to be able to write as well as my favorite authors, and I want to be able to sound reasonably respectable in my writing. When others read the words I’ve thrown together, I want them to come away with the feelings and ideas that I intended, whether they agree with me or not.
Sometimes I don’t write about anything useful at all, but writing is like running. If you don’t keep at it, your abilities will atrophy. Sometimes you PR, but a lot of times it’s just small incremental improvement or maintenance.
I’m intimidated by those who write so eloquently, who have a mountain of research, data, sources, and personal experience to back up superb analysis and intensely credible opinions. And so I write so that I may one day project my own eloquence and credibility with my written words.
The majority of the paragraphs in this post begins with the word “I.” That’s reflective of the very personal nature of writing. I write because I swallowed the inhibition that stopped me from doing it before—the inhibition that urged me to keep my personal thoughts and feelings to myself. I share my work now because it will generate feedback, good, bad, or otherwise.
And I will grow.