Monday, August 1, 2016

Why Do I Write And Who Am I Writing For?

Few days ago, my good buddy Razif Nasardin shared an interesting quote from English writer Hilary Mantel: "You always have to assume that your reader is at least as intelligent as you are, if not more."

The quote hit me like brick. Troubling thoughts boiled to surface. Doubts bedevilled my soul.

Do I assume that, when I write?

I guess I do, to a certain extent. I take style and substance seriously. Then again, I do wonder at times if I have got the balance right. Some readers have complimented me on how well I write. But some have also found my writing too dense and complicated.

Should I dumb down my language? Write more shallow topics? Cut down the preaching?

No, I won't. I'm not chasing for a thousand likes, as much as that would warm my heart. To compromise on my writing is to defeat the purpose that I set out to write in the first place.

An example of a reader's feedback

So why do I write?

It's not your attention that I crave. Attention can be won and lost in a matter of seconds. I want you, instead, to think deeply about what I have to say. To understand. To care. And to have something deep to say in return.

It's a conversation that I want. A connection. A collaboration. I'm telling you things not just to teach, but to learn from you as well. To draw strength from each other. To grow together.

I do not expect you to agree with me. But I do expect you to speak out boldly, should you ever disagree with me, so that I can assess my views, and adjust them if necessary.

So who am I writing for? 

For you, of course. Whoever you are, wherever you are. Friend or stranger. Nice meeting you. Drop me a message. Let's have a chat over coffee someday.

Yes, I'm writing to the world. As we all should.

So don't hold back. Write what's on your mind. Write honestly. Write with passion.

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