I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing creative outlets. He’s a poet at heart and was a mariner by trade, and our conversations have ranged a wide variety of topics – from the evolution of leadership during the Second World War, to the source of inspiration, and finally – why we write.
Part of my own personal motivations involve the personal development of my own writing skill and a means to refine my convictions in a way that is readily consumed. The bigger reason, however, is that I appreciate the fact that what I write may live on well beyond my own existence. Fully realizing the overall fickleness of social media (I lost several well-written posts when MySpace evolved, and it is only a matter of time before WordPress follows suit – but I am prepared for that eventuality with Word backups), I see the difficulties in creating a sort of “trail of breadcrumbs” for my son in his adult years. However, I hold onto the fact that archived electronic media will eventually be a boon for historians and anthropologists many years in the future.
Of course, there are times when my sporadic postings reflect the periodic frustration of “who is ever going to read any of this?” These phases come and go; however, it was a Ted Talk by Dan Carlin which recently validated and renewed my desire to keep writing:
And so, when you think about doing a podcast today, or a blog, or a vlog, or an indie music piece, or an indie video, or a zine or even amateur news, or journalism, you think about the fact that your great-great-great- great-great-grandchildren are going to get to know who we are through all this. This is how they are going to understand our times and our culture… There’s a line I love from Napoleon, the French Emperor, who famously said that, “Quantity has a quality all its own…” that the sheer amount of content that people would create some day would make up for the difference. Might not be as good as often, as the professional stuff, but you’d be able to compensate for the lack of professionalism with numbers. If only one percent of the amateur content that is out there is great, that’s still a ton of stuff.
The reasons for writing will vary from person to person, but the fact that people do write shows a tenacity of the masses to tread their own paths towards their respective destinations.