Why Do You Write? “Because I Must!”

Why Do You Write

In the following excerpt from Friedrich Nietzsche’s book, The Gay Science, character A and B are in a dialogue about why character A writes.

In this dialogue, A represents Nietzsche himself, and B represents a curious individual:

“A: I am annoyed by and ashamed of my writing; writing is for me a pressing and embarrassing need, and to speak of it even in a parable disgusts me.

B: But why, then, do you write?

A: Well, my friend, to be quite frank: so far, I have not discovered any other way of getting rid of my thoughts.

B: And why do you want to get rid of them?

A: Why I want to? Do I want to? I must.

B: Enough! Enough!”

Writing for Nietzsche is a means to articulate and clarify his thoughts, a process that he finds annoying but vital for his life and sanity.

Nietzsche often used such dialogues to illustrate philosophical points or to spark a deeper examination of certain themes.

In this case, the dialogue reflects Nietzsche’s own struggle with writing and his need to articulate his thoughts despite the challenges. After all, if writing is so hard, why do it?

We must keep writing

Look, I get the whole “AI will do the writing for you.”

But let me ask you this, do you really want to outsource your thinking?

Because writing is thinking, and vice versa. I’m writing this in January 2024, and for the past year, I’ve also been using AI to write. My favorite AI writer is Jasper. That’s the one I started using and I never switched.

Here are a few things I use Jasper for:

  • “I’m writing an article about improving your focus in today’s age. Give me your best tips.”
  • “Give me a few quotes from famous investors about building wealth.”
  • “Rewrite this for me.”

And every time I’m stuck with writing, I just use the Jasper extension for Chrome to continue writing. It’s the perfect writing assistant because it’s always there.

However, there are several important things AI can’t do for you:

  • Think
  • Make you feel good

The process of translating our thoughts into words is an innate human process. Once we stop doing that, we become animals.

This is why we must keep writing because it’s what keeps us human. Through writing, I learn new things, get ideas, improve myself, and find joy.

The process of writing makes me happy. Not the result. Sure, AI helps you with the result. It can give you what you want without making an effort.

Just tell it what to write! But what about the thinking? What’s in it for you?

Put your mind first

No matter what happens in life and how great technology is becoming, never forget the most important thing: Your mind.

Your obligation towards yourself is to nurture your mind.

That must always be your #1 priority in life.

If you nurture your mind, through writing, reading, and journaling, you can always count its strength. That’s the true power of learning how to translate your thoughts well.

And life will be just okay.

Just keep writing!

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