My first foray into writing started with a fortnightly column in Express Computer, thanks to the then-editor Venkatesh Hariharan. Those were the early days of the Internet – perhaps around 1996 or 1997. He approached me to write a long column on the Internet – 1500 words. That meant a full page in the tabloid-sized paper. Writing two columns a month meant that I had to think and explain ideas to others. It was the first time for me – and I agreed. It was perhaps the best decision I made – and one that has stood me in good stead through the years.
Around 1999-2000, I started my blog at emergic.org. I started a series “Tech Talk” wherein I would write a short new post daily – much like I do now. Then, I would also post links to other interesting readings. Over time, the “Tech Talk” phrase disappeared but the daily writing became a habit. I continued until August 2012 – when I stopped because I was getting too deeply involved in the political side of things, and I did not want to become the news because of something I wrote.
The blog format through those years is what I liked very much. I wrote for myself. To clarify my own thinking. Without worrying about who was going to read and what they would think. Without the need to be perfect. It was like I was speaking out my thoughts aloud and simply typing them out.
I never created a social media presence. I somehow did not like the short snappy comment format. I also did not want to write for others. If they read and benefited, that would be fine. But I wrote for myself.
When I look back on the years that I stopped writing, I realise that it was a mistake. I should never have let my writing cease, because that came at a cost of limiting my own thinking.
And so, I am happy now that I have started blogging again. The same format, the same mindset. The discipline of publishing a new post daily ensures that I have to keep the writing – and thinking – flow going.
For an entrepreneur, writing is a big positive because it helps clarify one’s own thinking and also communicate ideas to others. I don’t worry about whether the ideas are perfectly formed. My aim is to get them out there – because it ensures that I read and think about them. There will always be time for a new series later to improve on the initial ideas.
I think every entrepreneur should write a blog. Not just tweets or pithy LinkedIn posts. But write about one’s ideas and aspirations in real-time. Give people a glimpse into the world that you see. Because that is what you are really doing – creating a future ahead of others. And blogging is a great way to accelerate that future.
Tomorrow: My Proficorn Way (Part 25)