Why I'm starting a newsletter
To learn how to be a better writer
I feel like I need to first acknowledge that I am aware of how many other people start newsletters for the exact reasons I am doing so. In no way is the non-uniqueness of this endeavor lost on me, but nonetheless it still feels novel and I’m excited to get started.
I’m doing this because I want to be able to better communicate my thoughts in a concise manner. Currently all the written communication I do is either through text messages, emails, or slide decks. None of these really require wrestling with words and pinning down just the right ones. I have this belief that writing blog posts will force me to better structure my positions on any given topic.
What crystallized my desire to start writing was struggling to articulate to myself when a paragraph should end, and another should start. Which led to the realization that the only thing I really know about the structure of a paragraph comes from the 5th grade..a topic sentence, 3-5 supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. After my undergraduate freshman writing seminar over 9 years ago, I’ve written a total of 3 papers. My goal is to experience and sit in the uncomfortableness I recall from high school, where I poured so much effort into each and every sentence.
The other motivation for writing is to document what I’m doing while on a sabbatical from traditional working life. I need artifacts of what I accomplish, but more importantly, need a tool to hold myself accountable to the broader goals I have. Some of the things that I want to do will take longer than a month or require critical thinking that writing will force me to conduct. In a soon to be reality where I have no manager or expectation of delivering results to anyone but myself, I hope that writing serves as the conduit for accountability.
As for those aforementioned topics to write about, they fall into roughly three categories. The first will be my exploration of how to fully invest myself into fighting climate change. This is where the most critical thinking needs to be done, and where writing will help me the most. I also hope that the career paths, technology areas, and policy ideas that I explore can be useful for those that may come across my work. In the last few weeks I myself have found a few similar archives and they have been immensely helpful. The second category will be progress updates on coding projects that I undertake. These posts maybe technical in nature, or just me venting about slow progress. This is primarily a checkpointing mechanism for myself. And the third category is random thoughts and experiences. One of my desires is to actually develop an opinion on current events that I then share, something that I’ve shied away from in the past.
To boil it all down, I’m writing to help myself better articulate my thoughts and to hold myself accountable. I’m genuinely excited to see how my writing develops, but simultaneously dread the cringe I’ll feel when I read this post eight months from now. Here’s to being better with words, and thoughts. To quantify this whole thing, the goal is one post per week!