Why I Read and Write

why I writeA month ago, I published a post about ‘Why I Continue to Blog’: the reasons mainly surrounded the power of media as a magic microphone and at the same time, a space and an outlet. But today’s post is a little different, it is about why I read and write, and these are thoughts provoked by several panels I have been attending, also in the Singapore Writers Festival (this festival is truly one for exploration and reflection for me).

It was raised somewhere, that the online media we have easy access to today leaves us vulnerable to information overload. With the access to articles and pages of heavy content and a wide myriad of perspectives available, it seems effortless to try to get a more complete picture of every issue we are exposed to. An author in one of the panels I attended referred to online media as a “bouncing rabbit”, one that hops from place to place continuously, and effortlessly. And this may very well be an excellent thing, to have all the information we would like to know about at our fingertips. But it got me thinking about the difficulty in landing. It becomes a challenge to set our feet at one spot, at a single article or at a single page for more than a couple of minutes to just think. And as a result, the breadth of our understanding may be easily attained, but it lack substance as we continue to prioritise breadth over depth of thought. So I think, one of the reasons I write, is that writing like this gives you a kind of space that allows you to think and breathe and understand, and question. This way, I learn more than I would have. And by writing all this, I believe there’d be that one person, from all the views that come and go, there’d be that one person, who relates to what I’m saying and feels inspired by the ideas I hope to paint with my words.

And I read because, you can never know enough without continuous reading. There’s a beauty in learning from the words articulated by the authors who have exquisite ideas or genuine messages they want to convey. Every chapter is like a part of the conversation between the reader and the author, and every page is just a segment of the dialogue. I enjoy reading non-fiction, for the insight it gives me about the reality we live in. It helps me make sense of the systems, tangible and intangible, that pull at the strings of society and of people.

So for now, I’ll be spending my morning reading after writing (this) and sipping on a warm cup of coffee.

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