I don’t write *because* I’ve figured it out.
I write *in order* to figure it out.
— Daniel Pink (@DanielPink) April 13, 2022
One of the misconceptions around writing is that you need to publish it for it matter. The main benefit of writing is to get the thoughts in your head onto paper. Only then can you begin to grapple with your thoughts.*
Morgan Housel in conversation with Jim O’Shaughnessy said:
I don’t know if there’s a trick other than just saying you should write, everyone should write. Even if it’s just a journal that no one else is reading, but you, it’s good, because writing is what transfers gut feelings into the real world.That’s what writing really does to you.
This is especially important when it comes to investing. Real money is on the line. Darius Foroux writes:
If you go over your investment decisions in your mind, you miss the bigger picture. When you write down your thoughts, you find out whether you’ve done your homework or not.
If you can’t answer the questions in a clear, credible, and persuasive way, it means you probably shouldn’t allocate money to an investment opportunity.
When you write for yourself, you are in presumably touching on topics of interest. If you are able to answer some question, you are giving yourself (and others) advice. Lawrence Yeo writes:
When it comes to finding ideas to write about, it has less to do with an external search and more of an internal one. You can spend the next week reading a lot of books, and still feel like you have nothing to write about. But if you spend the next week asking yourself why you write and listing the tangential problems that emerge from that line of questioning, then there will be so much for you to address.
If you view writing through this lens you will never run out of worthy topics. Writing isn’t always fun. This is because the topics themselves aren’t all that fun. Pushing through is the reward. Here’s hoping that on the other side is some good advice.
*Many creative-types swear by ‘morning pages’ made popular in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
**Came across this tweet since publishing:
To understand the world: read
To understand yourself: write
— Ankur Warikoo (@warikoo) May 17, 2022