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Writing for Public Consumption

I love writing. Well, I love the idea of having written.

The act of sitting down and synthesising my thoughts in a clear, entertaining and novel way, oh, that terrifies me. So much so that I avoid it like that slightly uncomfortable chap at a party; sliding to the other side of the room each time he makes his rounds.

I make writing appointments on my calendar and snooze them until the next meeting commences, shrugging my shoulders as if by some fault of the universe my writing time eluded me again.

Not today.

Today I will write for public consumption (side note: that’s the title of this morning’s calendar meeting).

“For public consumption” is the important distinction in that meeting title. My “journal” calendar events are rarely ignored. Writing for myself is a luxurious, dedicated act of self-care (and saves me a bucket load on therapy).

However, the generation of new ideas doesn’t happen in isolation. Having to explain (or write about) new concepts causes you to review them with an intensity reserved only for the spotlight. More to the point, having to edit them for clarity (and so they’re less of a stream of consciousness that fell out your ear) breeds a review of the thoughts themselves.

You can journal and think over an idea backwards and forward forever, but until you try to explain the concept to someone else - you won’t completely understand it. Writing for public consumption (and criticism) and inviting responses in open dialogue is how we have progressed forward as a society. It’s how academia advances. It’s how thought leaders hone their… leading thoughts.

So, dear public, I invite you to consume this article. I can now begin my day with the comforting thought that I “have written” - my favourite version of writing.