Why I write – revisited

Lately, many people have been asking me why I write my blog, and more specifically where I find the time to do it.

The latter one is easy. I don’t find the time – it’s already there. I prioritize writing my blog for about 30 minutes a day. Mostly, I do this when my one and three year-old priorities are snoring besides me. It’s an otherwise pretty useless window of time, where I used to fall asleep, and wake up feeling worse than before. It’s better to write and stay awake then, isn’t it? I think so too.

Everyone that asks me how I find the time to do it, are impressed, one way or another. Perhaps they don’t give a shit about my content, but they’re clearly impressed by the consistency of output. It’s something they somehow envy (in the most positive sense of the word). Often these people suggest that they wouldn’t be able to find the time to do the same.

I call bullshit.

If you don’t write as much as I do, it’s entirely because you don’t want to. Don’t try to pass with a lame excuse like ‘I’m so busy’. It just isn’t true. Or at least not as true as you pretend it to be.

I have two miniature human beings running around, manage a bunch of people at work, and do a lot of my own research as well as quite some teaching. I found my 30 minutes of writing, despite a busy schedule. I can also assure you that if it wouldn’t work in the time slot I use now, that I would find another slot. Worst -case scenario, I’d squeeze one out while I squeeze out something else. Efficiency is key.

No bullshit excuse. You don’t want to write. And that’s fine. Just don’t expect daily posts to come by themselves. It’s hard work, and work that requires a daily routine. If you’d want it, you could do it too.

So, that’s the how. That leaves us with the why.

I’ve written about the why before, but I like to revisit this every now and then, because it may change over time.

1) Evaluation – Writing helps me evaluate my thoughts. Sometimes I’m not sure what I really think, until I write it out. It’s a thought organizer tool. This works for both professional life, and private life. Writing is my to-do list, journal, and my master plan. Or fodder for the paper bin. It doesn’t matter.

2) Superpower – writing is a superpower. Does this really need an explanation? In this day and age, the written and spoken word are more important than ever before. Audiences are at your fingertips, with social media being available at every smartphone. Information is more available than ever, and we all hunger for more. Writing and speaking, storytelling if you will, are the most important elements in your toolbox these days. Work on your superpowers.

3) Killing time – what else to do between 7.30 and 8?

4) Fun – I still think it’s fun. I’ve gone through ups and downs. I’ve figured out recently that putting rules and limitations on my writing made it less fun. Out the window with these fucking rules. Invite the fun back in.

5) Some stories just need to be told – sometimes a story just deserves an audience. We all have 5-10 stories that could easily make others laugh or feel good about themselves. If that happens to at least one ofy posts a week, it’s already worth the investment.

6) Calling – I’ve written stories for as long as I know how to write. Maybe this is not the norm in every person. But I find it deeply satisfying to write every day. It’s like an inner calling. I’m just very happy to do it every day!

I can’t remember how my points above relate to previous reasons for writing, but I think my reasoning for doing so regularly shifts by quite a bit.

Why do/don’t you write?

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

7 thoughts on “Why I write – revisited

  1. I write when I want and when I have time. I work at the moment 60 hrs a week and while there is time left, there are other things that are more important then a virtual world that can surely live without me for a while πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yet, you have an impressive body of blog posts! I appreciate your posts – perhaps even more now I know you carve them out of very little time. The difference between you and the others I talk about in the post is that they pretend that the only reason they don’t write is that they’re busy. You clearly prove that’s rubbish (and I tend to think I do too). It’s fine to be busy. It’s also fine not to write. I’m less fine with the ‘I’m busier than you, otherwise I would’ narrative these people often bring up or imply. People that don’t write, don’t do so because they don’t want it badly enough. The excuses they bring up are neither needed, nor valid. If you want to write, you can find the time for a post. If not daily, then weekly. If not weekly, then monthly.

      The daily writing thing is just my own kind of rubbish, and I’m too high in OCD to let it go. Less could be more…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very kind. I was just like you, posted every day, thought I had to. After a while I felt burned out, changed by blog, took a break and when I came back I decided to have fun. No worries if I don’t blog, I am not making it a priority, but love doing it and when I don’t like it, oh well. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the spirit. I like the daily for now. It also feels like a little me-time, where life isn’t dictated by work or kids. I notice more and more that I sometimes need some time to live in my head if that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

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