Friday, July 8, 2016

About my writing; Intellectual and emotional rewards of public writing

Last updated on 11th July 2016

This post is an edited version of my part of a recent mail conversation.

I write on social media (blog & Facebook mainly) on topics that interest me. I try hard to be truthful based on my knowledge of matters. If I come across additional information that changes my perspective I do not usually hesitate to update my social media posts on the matter. Of course, there are sensitive matters which I steer away from as I don't want to get into trouble. After all, I am just a blogger with no support network to protect me (like the support network that regular journalists with a reputed media organization have).

Further, I do not make any claims to be a perfect kind of writer. Regular readers of my writings would be aware that I write in an informal kind of way. Social media provides that great platform where one can write informally as if one is having a verbal conversation with somebody. An informal way of writing gives the freedom to write freely giving opinions and views, without being a scholar on a topic. I do make mistakes and do not feel embarrassed by them usually as they are based on lack of information. As more information comes in, for example, as criticism of what I have written, I correct the mistakes, where required.

As I write in an informal way and also, many times, in a hurried way (usually with some typos & grammatical errors which I correct when I spot them later on), that style of writing may put off some people who are more used to reading well composed and well thought out articles put out by seasoned writers & journalists.

I gain a lot from responses to my social media posts, even if I do not agree sometimes with the views expressed. Such responses do provide a mental boost for me to continue writing.

Public writing has its rewards. One is forced to examine one's views more carefully. Public criticism of one's views & opinions can enlighten one on aspects which one had not thought about. Public appreciation of some of one's articles gives a feel of what is it that resonates with readers (and what does not resonate). Overall, it helps in getting a better understanding of an important part of the intellectual and emotional mini-world that one lives in. So a beginner/budding blogger/Facebook post writer might find public writing, especially on matters of general interest, to be a rewarding exercise (I don't mean monetarily though that surely is a possibility; I mean intellectual and emotional rewards).

Another aspect of public writing is that it becomes a record of one's views and one's observations. [For me, this record part is quite important. Many of my posts are born from a desire to log the data and my view of the data, so to speak.] The record part may or may not be of interest to many, but it could be of interest to one's loved ones - family & friends, if not now then perhaps sometime in the future when they are in a better position to appreciate the record. And anytime somebody really wants to get a feel about a person who is a writer, they can go read his/her public writings, especially on matters of general interest (as against specific interest areas like computer software technology)!

Given below are comments from my Facebook post,, associated with this blog post.

Sai Das wrote:
I don't always agree with what you post Ravi S. Iyer, but I'm glad that you do! :)

Ravi S. Iyer wrote:
Thanks brother Sai Das. And I am so glad that you do disagree with me at times :-), which allows me to have a polite conversation with you on our differing views. That sometimes corrects my mistakes, and sometimes results in a better appreciation of opposing views even if I hold a different view, at least at that point of time.

Sai Das wrote:
I never confuse YOU with what you write. :)

A US based old time software industry colleague and a friend wrote over email (and was OK with public sharing):
I enjoy reading your writings, as and when time permits. I found your views, by most part, to be fair and well intentioned. Keep it up!
I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):
Thanks a ton :-).

A Sai university alumnus and a former student of mine at the Sai university wrote (and was OK with public sharing):
Thanks to your writings, Ravi Sir, I get an eclectic view of contemporary subjects. I may or may not completely agree with all the views you post, but I do like to read and learn from them.

I (Ravi) responded (edited):
Thanks (for the response and for agreeing to be identified as Sai university alumnus & former student of mine). I think it will encourage other Sai university alumni including former students of mine, who read my stuff, to share their responses publicly like you, brother --name-snipped--.

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