Dzhavat Ushev

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Writing vs reading

Writing is hard. It also takes time to write something. Let alone something good. It’s hard because it engages us on many different levels. Before writing something, one first needs to think about it. Then, as one begins to write, this thought becomes a conversation. Should I write this or that? Should I say it this way or the other? Does it still sound good if I read it out loud? What about grammar and spelling? Editting? Can visuals help to explain the idea better? There are so many possibilities and directions one can take. Writing is creating something out of nothing.

Reading on the other hand is easy. Reading is consuming someone else’s writing. Reading can also engage us on different levels but not necessarily. Reading is engaging only if the writing is engaging and if the reader wants to be engaged. With reading, we can skip content and focus only on the parts that seem interesting and relevant. Reading can lead to questions. Reading can help us learn and understand things better but we don’t know this beforehand. We have to finish reading a piece of content before we can say if it was worth it.

Let’s take writing a blog post as an example. It’s not unusual for me to spend an hour writing a post that takes just a few minutes to read. Sure, writing is a skill and one gets better and faster over time but the writing vs reading ratio will never be 1:1. Not even close.

Why am I sharing this?

Sometimes I come across an advice that goes something like “For every post that you read, you should write one as well”. While I agree with the idea of creating content, I think the advice is unrealistic. If I have to follow it literally, I’d be forever in debt. Writing and reading are not equal. Reading also takes time but it’s generally faster to read something that to write it.

So I have a proposal. Instead of putting unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, let’s have a more balanced approach. My advice then becomes “For every 10th post that you read, you should write one as well”. If every 10th is still too much for you, try with every 20th. The point is to not feel pressured or “behind” some artificial schedule.

Take your time and just write.

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