Write before having clarity

Writing is one of the most meaningful activities and possibly the hardest activity I do (learning to use chopsticks comes in a close second ;)). Now, unlike earlier, I write even when my thoughts are vague. Starting with vagueness instead of seeming clarity encourages me to continuously evolve my writing and thoughts. It made me realise that thoughts can never become completely clear; they can only be made less hazy over time.

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People often ask why I write. Over the years, my reasons have evolved. From being compelled to write, to the joy of playing with words, to share what moves me. Thinking more deeply about this question I realised a more important question to ask of myself was “When did I write?”

Growing up, writing was always a post activity. I wrote exams after perfectly memorising 442 pages of text (yes, that’s Indian education). I wrote lab reports after my science experiments were successful (the rare occasions where my lab journal didn’t accidentally burn). I wrote only after having seeming clarity on a topic.

I came to realise that when I wrote with that intention, I was mislead in believing that clarity is a static attainable concept; which can be completely achieved and all at once. Writing was as if putting a seal on it. Once I expressed my thoughts on a topic, I didn’t actively seek to further evolve those thoughts.

Now, I write even when my thoughts are vague. It helps me in two ways. First, it acts as a mirror to my mind. Reflecting the over complications in my thoughts. Magnifying even the subtlest flaws in my problem solving approach. Revealing the path towards structure and specificity over time.

Second, more importantly, it acts as a reminder that clarity comes with a semi-colon and not a period. Thoughts can never be completely clear or final; they can only be made less hazy over time. When thoughts are approached with this mindset; one never stops evolving their writing or understanding(even after writing that final lab report; provided it isn’t already accidentally burnt).

Searches for wisdom and wit. Researches human behavior. User Researcher @VMware

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