Why you should write:

Dear reader,

I’ve gotten a few questions about why I write, how I choose the topics to look at, and whether or not this is a resume-builder. Their questions always imply that writing is inextricably linked to stress or hopes of further advancement, but I’ll let you in on my secret:

I enjoy writing because it helps me find peace.

Thus, I wanted to share a couple reasons with you as to why you too should write, whether for fun, or for science, or to share your feelings about the complexity of living life. I value this opportunity to share this brief moment of introspection with you in our busy, chaotic lives. If you give yourself the opportunity to write, I’ll be your stalwart supporter through and through.

 

Writing as a legacy:

Even now, I find that eloquence carries a certain gravitas. The well-spoken have the tendency to be thoughtful, selective in word choice, and utterly awe inspiring. If you haven’t seen this video by Obama I’ll leave this link here so you can take a listen. (Obama’s Talk with the NRA) However, unluckily (or luckily) for the most of us, we don’t have recordings of our day-to-day speech transcribed. Thus, writing carries a certain gravity. It makes a perfect gift to demonstrate thoughtfulness and maturity.

Furthermore, writing is permanent. While this may be daunting, it is one of the few demonstrable activities that you can look back at and recollect the emotions that were infused during writing, because writing is an art form that you yourself performed at some point in your life. Moreover, it becomes valuable as a tangible part of your history, worth more to you than say a class on American History or World Geography. You can create a small bit of history with paper and a pen and invoke memories, all through the process of applying pen to paper.

 

Writing for the joy of exploration:

Have you ever corrected a teacher after hearing a teacher misspeak?  It’s the feeling when the effervescent scrap of knowledge you’ve pulled from the recesses of your mind suddenly clicks, and the urge to show restraint in the classroom breaks, like a beaver dam situated across a roaring river, suddenly giving way to a torrential flood. The words come unbidden to your mouth and you can’t help but nod, thinking to yourself “If only I could tell everyone about this cool piece of information!”. (or maybe that’s just me- in which case you can laugh, but only if I’m not nearby)

With age, unfortunately, we lose that motivation to seek truth, to learn for the sake of simple exploration. Perhaps, for young people with opportunities to learn and  inquisitiveness, the feeling never goes away, but I’m inclined to believe in burnout. People are, above all, human, and to perceive a role models as superhuman only takes away from how you can relate to them.

Storytelling is all about narratives and the effectiveness of a good narrative can be seen in the eyes of the audience and a feeling of solidarity. When you write, you can’t see the reader’s eyes, but you share a visceral connection, a journey where you lead the reader by the hand into another world.

 

Writing to have a voice:

The reason I named this section “Writing to have a voice”, is because of this unassailable truth:

“Those who cannot speak, cannot have a voice, cannot be considered, and cannot be regarded, so take up your pen!”

In history, it was the words of Lucretia Mott and the actions of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, two audacious, radiant women who fought for universal women suffrage at Seneca Falls, and their unrelenting commitment to inscribing this memorable challenge to authority on the Declaration of Sentiments that is the reason we remember these words today:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”

These two women, whose words have endured through the entirety of history are no different from you and me. Oratory promise and magnificent speeches are lost and forgotten, but words are forever. They are the memory of your soul after you’ve packed up and are long gone.

Writing to share with others:

I’m scared to share writing, even with you! I understand that it is incredibly vulnerable, humiliating when you err, but I reiterate that writing is also absolutely cathartic and exhilarating. If humans are social creatures, writing is a medium through which we grow closer, form stronger relationships, and share stories to pass down to future generations. I would be honored to read anything a reader would send me, so without further ado, and before I look back, I, like you will take a leap of faith, and click publish on this article as well.

Keep your head up and I look forward to seeing what you send me.

Your friend,

Joseph Maa

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