Bacon said, “reading makes a full man, conversation a ready man, and writing an exact man.”
Written words have greater value than the spoken in most of the cultures. Though it may be easier to recognise someone’s recorded voice than his handwriting, it is a signature in the document that has value. People declare “I can give you this in writing,” to emphasise the seriousness of the matter and their belief in the subject. To give in writing is like an oath or pledge. Similarly when someone says, “give it to me in writing,” it is like asking to swear about the truth and authenticity of the matter.
Though handwritten documents are dwindling, digitally born documents have great value. Greater than earlier. We feel intimacy with some people by merely reading their works. Some people create a great web presence by writing regularly in the form of books, blogs and white papers; they tweet, chat and post on face book. Gazouillement is an act of attracting millions of people to a site on the Internet, which would most likely overload and potentially crash the server. Whereas this would be a rare case, there are many popular sites attracting tens of thousands of visitors for each post.
If we regularly read a person, we wait for his next post. We visit his website hoping to find something new. When we are studying a topic, we naturally go to the sites we trust to find some information on the subject. What, if a person with a large following, popular because of the quality of his writings, suddenly withdraws his presence from the web?
Jonathan Gillette is a prolific writer, cartoonist, musician, artist, and computer programmer notable for his work with the Ruby programming language. He was known as “one of the most unusual, and beloved, computer programmers.” He abruptly disappeared from public view in 2009.
Mark Pilgrim is another professional who disappeared on 4th October 2011. Trying his sites give 410 error, indicating a complete dead-end. The URL is effectively useless. He also deleted his Twitter, Reddit, Google+ and Github accounts.
These disappearances caused deep anxiety in their followers and there were police inquiries about their whereabouts. This kind of withdrawal was termed “infosuicide.” Such is the power of good writing when there are followers.
Writing is a thought process and also a tool to express. What is not understood when we hear from someone or read somewhere, becomes clearer when we write about it. If we intentionally write, and write regularly, it is a very satisfying activity.
Neal Ford says, “Once you write a book, you become really immersed in the subject matter. After it’s off to the publisher, you can’t turn off your interest in the subject.”
Till I brought home a personal computer 22 years ago, I needed pen and paper for my thought process. While in the school, I had dreamt of becoming a writer. Though I did not pursue creative writing, a couple of my essays were published in a reputed Kannada magazine when I was a teenager. Later, for some time, I wrote regularly for a house journal in the Navy. I also edited a technical magazine named Valsura Technical Bulletin.
I started this blog exactly one year ago, mainly because of the encouragement from Srinivas. My regular blog posts have rekindled my interest in writing. The kind encouraging words I hear from you readers is the reason for me to continue writing. This is my 80th post in one year.
Thank you for following me.