I've been meaning to blog for some time now, having a vague sense that it would be beneficial but never really sitting down to examine it more closely. I did just that today though, and realized that there are so many good reasons for me to maintain one there was no point in delaying it any longer. It seemed natural to begin by listing the top 3 things I'm expecting blogging will help me with.

1. Complete what I begin

Often, when I'm working on a new project, I'm sorely tempted to go online in an attempt to better educate myself about what's already been done. A few hours and many links later, I've found something else that interests me so much that I drop what I was working on to attempt that instead.

In some ways its a consequence of an entirely good thing---a sense of fascination for the things I encounter. What I really need is something to force my attention back to what I've started so I can see them through to completion. Writing publicly about each new thing I begin will go a long way towards that (that's the hope at any rate).

2. Remember what I read

I suffer from a mild case of information addiction. Now I don't feel the compulsive need to check social networks or email. I'm even fairly sure that my Facebook login frequency is firmly in the offend-my-friends zone. My information drug of choice happens to be rss feeds (Quora comes a close second), and I've found that I can spend the entire day skipping from one fascinating article to the next.

This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have an entirely lousy memory. Currently, I forget a lot of what I come across and am little better off than not having read it at all. I might even be worse off for any induced cognitive overload.

I've decided that the best way to make this work for me is to attempt writing about (even a fraction of) the things I read. Writing is a useful device to improve both retention and recall, and although typing isn't quite as effective as putting pen to paper, its sure to help me remember more of what I read. More importantly, forcing my ideas onto (virtual) paper will afford me the opportunity to recognize connections between seemingly disparate ideas and place them into a larger, richer perspective of the world.

3. Improve as a person

Finally, writing in of itself is a great habit to cultivate. Leo Babuta has a great article that explains the many good things that come from regular writing. The reasons that really resonated with me were the ability to -

  1. Think from the perspective of people around you.
  2. Improve the clarity and logical consistency of your thoughts and opinions.
  3. Reflect on your life and choices

Individually, each of these traits are immensely beneficial. Together, they transform you into a better, wiser person. And who wouldn't want that?

So...here I am!