I know I don’t owe anything to anyone, but I still feel like clarifying something.
A friend/mentor told me recently that he had to unfollow me because I keep tweeting about books I completed, and he just could not handle all the productivity stuff anymore, especially in the times of Coronavirus when everyone is stressed.
This brought me memories from an interview I did with a newspaper a few months back. The Interviewer asked me if always optimising productivity, talking about books, writing lead to people thinking I somehow feel superior to others. And if people feel like I am subconsciously judging them for not being as productive as me.
I think she was just trying to frame the question in a better way than “Manas, you productivity obsessed ass. You are so smug about the books you read, your productivity OKRs. How can people stand you? You annoying twat.”
I have to admit that for most part of my life I have rarely cared about what the rest of the world is thinking about what I do. Your have to build a thick skin when you are writing online. I am not saying I am a zen master. I do get pissed when people hate on me. I remember the hate some of my satire writings used to get in college. But think about it: If I start reacting to opinions of other people, then I would just shut down my Twitter account and this blog.
And also, if Kunal Shah after selling a company for 400 Mil and starting another unicorn can get mercilessly mocked on social media, then who am I to complain? There will always be people who will find issues with everything.
Now let me try to be honest with why I share things on social media. Heck, why do I even blog.
Vanity: I feel like people care about what I have to say. I deep down think that someone will read a book I recommend or read something I have shared, and then their life will change for the better. Everytime I get a appreciation DM from a random stranger on Twitter it reinforces this view.
Ego: No matter how much I pretend that my life is a single player game, and I don’t care about what people think, I still do at some level. I feel that my writing, my learnings which I share is somehow unique. And these experiences add value to the world. Else I would just write these things on my notes app and leave. Why even share it with the world?
Control: I have no control over the world. I am not Narendra Modi who can shut down the country on a whim. Or make currency obsolete. Every passing day in these coronavirus times, I feel I might get laid off. Even if I work my ass off at work, someone at the top might get offended at something, and my career growth might suffer. But writing and reading are two things that I can control. At some level. I can share my thoughts without filter. Atleast in this blog. Since there are no comments, I can just publish and forget. Since there is no analytics, I don’t even know if anyone read this post or not. I don’t have to get approval from anyone. This is somewhat true for Twitter too. I can share the learnings from a book I read and tell people they should read it too. If they find it valuable then good, else it is fine too.
Consistency: Reading and writing are two things I have done since I was a kid. In an ever changing world, I feel doing these things will make me feel that the world is the same.
Free therapy: Writing is therapeutic for me. Instead of saying all the things to a therapist, I feel more comfortable writing my thoughts to 1000s of random strangers.
For my own career growth: Writing templates, sharing processes make it easy for me to adopt the same everytime I move to a new role or a new job.
Writing is the key to understanding: Everytime I write about something I feel like I understand it more. Be it about spec writing, be it about design, be it about strategy, writing brings clarity.
Legacy: This blog is my legacy. Something that exists because I exist. You can again call it my ego.
(This was shared as a thread long time back. I am going through my drafts folder now and turning a lot of my half written threads into blogposts.)