Why I'm Writing Sunday Letters
The Sunday Letters newsletter is going just under a year now. In that time some have left and many others have joined the free weekly online publication.
So today I thought it would be a good idea to tell you guys why I'm writing Sunday Letters and in fact why I'm writing in general.
In doing so I'm hopeful I don't bore the tits off you. Because you see, as with all my writing, there is a danger of that. There is a danger of that insofar as I may appear to be a little self indulgent.
Or perhaps begin to believe that I somehow have the answers to your worldly problems and all you need to do is simply apply what I tell you.
There's too much of that already.
I'm conscious of that dangerous path to self righteousness when I offer my views so I try my utmost to find another route to your mind.
You see, it has been my observation that most online writers write to make themselves look good. To evoke a response or try to save your fucking life or something.
It appears to me that on stronger analysis many of these writers are perhaps trying to save themselves.
That's alright though. I accept that this is exactly what they and others need, but it's not my bag and hope that's clear from the words I write.
Solutions Don't Exist
In addition to the preacher trying to save your life, there is the marketer trying to sell you shit you don't need.
Or worse again the preachy marketer trying to sell you solutions to the problems of your mind, that it should be noted, you created yourself.
I do put on the marketers hat sometimes. Afterall I have stuff I want to sell. So I market it as best I can the best way I know how.
Effective marketing is essential if we are to make a core living from our work and ultimately that's what I want from my creative endeavours.
Perhaps I can give it to you straight without the need to get anything out of the exchange.
In the past I've tried to stay in the marketing mode in the misled belief that this is how I must do things to build something worthwhile.
Marketing works insofar as we can with the right message, convince people that our solution will help them.
And maybe it will work for some, but for most people our solutions don't really work.
They simply serve to send the reader further down the rabbit hole in pursuit of an answer that doesn't exist.
However, the naive pursuit of that non existent answer does serve a purpose.
It helps us come to the realisation that all this seeking answers in other people and other places is a complete waste of time.
All the answers that we ever need exist somewhere else closer to home.
That is the truth I have come to know.
Doing It To Learn
Now, I can teach you stuff.
I have technical skills that I can offer you through my writing and my videos related to marketing tools and other stuff I've become proficient at over the years.
There are many people like me in that regard.
But I should make it clear, apart from my trade as an electrician and the degree I'm sitting right now, I have taken very little in the way of formal training from other people.
I like to do it to learn it. Know what I mean?
To me there is no true learning in reading or listening to others. That kind of learning is more a process of memory and recall and it is largely superficial.
And that's fine. It serves a purpose but it's only the first step, and in fact, doesn't have to be the first step in the perceived linear process of learning.
To me learning is 360 degrees. It simply must be applied in order for it to have meaning and relevance, and it should be said in order for it to be imparted by one to another.
I write albeit maybe not very well, but I have become so much better at getting my ideas down than I was when I started writing in 2008/09.
I taught myself how to draw too.
Although that didn't take too much effort if I may be so brazen as to say.
Like writing I may not be very good by some standards or indeed very fast but learning by virtue of doing is essential to me.
It might take me longer to master it or even become just about ok but that's exactly how I like to do it.
I take my time and come to understand both the back and front, the inside and the outside of the thing.
Do I discourage you taking courses?
If you want to learn the basics then go for it. It may take you further down the road in a short amount of time than someone who does not take the course.
But rest assured, that person with the life experience of doing it, you could say the hard way, will catch up with you and perhaps overtake you.
There is, in my opinion, no substitute for learning by doing.
Why Do I Write?
Now, I started out suggesting that this article would delve into the reasons why I'm writing Sunday Letters and you might be asking if you've read this far;
“Where's he going with this?”.
Well, these sentences are relevant so that you understand the man behind the words on the page.
To offer an answer to the question; why do I write? I can offer you none that will be satisfactory I imagine.
All I can say is that I write because I have something to say. I am writing Sunday Letters because I have something to say.
Can I offer you something valuable in doing so?
Who knows only you.
Nobody may read my stuff. Some do, but not thousands. Hundreds perhaps if I get a good open rate on any particular Sunday.
Should that matter?
Well, in one sense not really.
I believe, as is outlined in The Artist's Manifesto, we should make for the sake of making. We should make from a place where there is no need for attention and applause.
But engagement and feedback does matter if the creative process is to loop back in and complete itself.
The creative process is a never ending exchange you see.
In my case its an exchange of my ideas with yours and others in the world. Then I go back to my place here and make some more.
So To Conclude
I can't say I love to write, I like writing.
I write because I am somehow drawn to the process. Writing allows me express my ideas and thoughts and share them regardless of the response.
If I was to wrap it up I'd say this…
Sunday Letters is the leaving of a legacy to my children. It feels good to me to write and record honestly the things I see, feel and experience in this world.
The prospect of leaving behind something substantial for my children and their subsequent generations appeals to me greatly.
That idea alone brings me back here day after day and week after week.
And hey, maybe you'll get something from it too.