Satisfying my ego
Why do I write, and why do I publish on this lame page that nobody knows about?
Let’s see if I can explain. I’m hoping that writing this piece will help me understand why I write in general.
I think the answer is: ego.
I am reminded of this movie called Revolver by Guy Ritchie, the director of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, among others.
The movie is a kind of complicated metaphor about the invisible power of the ego. I didn’t understand it all. But while it wasn’t a commercial success, there were some interesting ideas.
One of the main ideas, if not the main one, is that ultimately the only opponent you have is - you guessed it: yourself. Yet that is not exactly precise either. Rather, the enemy is something hiding within yourself: that thing we call the ego.
Enough with the movie. The point I’m trying to make is this: I believe my ego to be the most powerful driver behind my choices and decisions, as it is for every other human being.
I can’t beat my ego. And if ignore it, it will take too much control. So what’s the third option? I can collaborate with it. Give it a little bit of what it wants so that I can get a little bit of what I want.
What I want is easy: a good life for me and my family.
Then the question is: what does my ego want? Easy as well; the same thing as yours: to feel important.
That’s why I write and publish these random thoughts online. It’s the sole reason. It makes me someone who writes stuff online. It’s like candy for my ego; a little nutrition.
As it turns out, I don’t need to give it much more. It doesn’t even need to know that anybody is reading what we write. It’s happy to know that someone eventually could.
I, on the other hand, am careful to not give it much more than that.
I want my objective to be clear: to make money from investing. Writing helps me unclutter my mind and forces me to go deeper into the subjects I’m interested in. Publishing online also gives me easy access to these subjects at any time, from anywhere.
Putting just enough effort in my writing, but no more, assures me that my incentive is aligned with my goal. Having readers would introduce misalignment. Trying to get paid readers would aggravate the misalignment, at least in my current stage of maturity.
So this is the deal I struck with my ego. It’s a delicate balance. Sometimes I can feel it getting the upper hand and pushing me to try and be more visible. Other times I rein it in and ease off the social media interactions.
So far, we’re both happy with the deal.
P.S. I should work on my sense of humor as a better self-defense mechanism! Humor is the enemy of the devil…
Externalizing my thoughts
While writing my thoughts about the decision to vaccinate or not, I stumbled upon another benefit of writing.
What I realized after typing down my thoughts is that, on top of the obvious benefit of forcing me to structure them a little bit, it almost felt like my thoughts were leaving my brain to be crystallized on this external medium.
When I reread my thoughts later, I could recognize them because I had just written them the day prior, but somehow they didn’t feel like mine, at least not in the same way as where they were only in my brain. It was as if I was reading somebod else’s opinion who I happened to agree with.
The freedom this gives me is unbelievable: I am free to disagree with myself!
I can read the sentences on the screen, consider the argument, and if there is a flaw in the logic, I can spot it the same way I would if I was reading any article or blog post online. This pushes me to either refine my thoughts or change my mind if the logic simply doesn’t hold.
I never felt this distance when rereading old journal entries on a physical notebook, maybe because it’s too easy to recognize my own hand writing.