03 Jan 2023
I’m hoping to write more this year and have been considering how I’ll go about it. I strive to write things that are both true and new, but it’s hard to always say something new. I don’t want to let that limit how much I write, because the way to get better at writing is to write a lot.
So here’s my plan: true and new is my goal, but just true is sufficient. So long as what I’ve written is correct — or at least as correct as I can get, given my current understanding — I can post it.
Writing something that’s true but not new is still useful to me. It cements my understanding of the topic, yields a handy reference for my future self, and is good practice. I write first and foremost for myself, so as long as it’s something I want to write and read, I’m happy doing so.
But I do want my writing to be useful to others too. Even if the ideas in something I write aren’t new to me, they could be new to some readers. And saying something novel is a matter of degree. The core idea may not be new, but perhaps putting it into my own words and sharing my perspective adds something that is.
I wonder if writing things that are true, but not new, will push me into the territory of ideas that are both. Maybe I need to first travel through the land of familiar ideas, honing my powers of observation and expression along the way, in order to reach the land of unfamiliar ones.
I won’t overthink it. Writing is better than not writing, and that can be my compass. I’ll write about interesting things, and seek out interesting things to write about.
I’ll experiment – with both what to say and how to say it – until I find my voice and the constellation of topics that feel like an authentic fit. I’m hoping to play around with different formats like shorter posts, link posts with commentary, and posts where I’m still in the midst of figuring something out.
If all goes well, my writing this year will be a journey of discovery, which I hope to get to share with at least a few readers, and which I hope will yield interesting new things.
Happy writing, happy reading, and happy 2023.