We need to get back to writing to save the world from the anxious moment we live in.
We have a problem in the English-speaking world. We no longer care about nor teach writing with love, simplicity, and sophistication.
We no longer instill the desire to educate, persuade, and motivate through the art of the written word.
We live in an era of public speaking. We live in an area of social media and shortened communications. We see writing as a chore.
Why? The answer is simple:
The self-interested technocrats, bureaucrats, and business people do not care about language, but use it for their purposes. They make it repulsive to those interested in truth, meaning, and impact.
Meanwhile, the self-congratulatory elitists claim there is no structure, no frameworks, and no methods to understand the writing process—as if writing were a natural talent. They place creativity above anything else and forget those who are not artists but have great ideas to share.
Why is that, in the United States, for example, so many students who go to college for four years and take mandatory composition courses, still cannot write well once they graduate?
Like a vehicle with a broken engine, the English-speaking world has lost its driving force.
Writing is misunderstood, overlooked, underrated, bastardized.
But it is a mistake and an insult to where we’ve come from. As a part of Western civilization, the current state of affairs is a dishonour to our rich tradition.
History stands on the side of writing, and so does the future.
The Greeks and the Romans built our civilization from nothing as they wrote their understanding of the world. We still read them today. We still use their wisdom to move forward in an age fraught with unhappiness and confusion.
We all agree we need the Greek philosophers’ wisdom right now.
Though some philosophers never wrote, their wisdom is available to us today because scribes transcribed their speeches.
In any case, the Greeks and the Romans were not simply great writers; they were also great thinkers.
Writing and thinking are intertwined, and you cannot take only one of them seriously.
Writing is the ultimate refinement of thoughts.
The Greeks and the Romans cared about ideas and how ideas were expressed.
They did not oppose grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
They saw it as a whole — the Trivium, they called it — and they made them the foundation for a good education.
They cared about style just as much as substance. They read widely and wrote carefully. By doing so, they brought civilization to where it is now.
And what have we done with it?
We no longer about grammar, logic, and rhetoric—the greatest legacy of our Greek and Roman ancestors.
We are complacent with how we treat our ideas.
We no longer believe they must be shaped by the writing process. We loathe and procrastinate on writing. We treat it as something undesirable.
In an age of commodities, we no longer see the value of writing eloquently.
Some of the greatest minds outsource writing to ghostwriters.
Some of the greatest minds never write the books they should because they are daunted by the process.
It is no wonder we live in such an anxious political moment.
It is no wonder we have every reason to feel as though we are headed in the wrong direction.
It is no wonder our lives are emptier and devoid of substance.
The day we’ve stopped caring about writing as a society is the day we’ve stopped caring about thinking—and such was the beginning of our demise.
But there is a way out.
We can save ourselves and hope for a better future by taking writing seriously.
Writing benefits everybody, from the writer to the readers to the reader’s friends.
Writing is teaching, teaching is learning, and learning is growing—so writing is growing.
Reading is learning, and learning is growing—so reading is growing.
The more we read and write, the more we grow as people and as societies.
Writing takes time; it is a process that must be enjoyed to be effective. As a result, it forces us to refine our ideas and to become more nuanced individuals.
The lag between writing and publishing allows us to think through our ideas and decide whether we really mean them.
Writing makes our ideas clearer in our minds, and publishing these ideas allows us to be challenged. It teaches us to give ourselves grace and to be open-minded and humble.
It allows us to think more deeply and to develop our style.
If we all start writing more, we will better understand each other. We will have access to more knowledge and information. We will be better, deeper thinkers.
I founded Trivium Writing to help thinkers write books the world will remember. My purpose is to give thinkers the mindset, the tools, and the guidance to make writing fun, engaging, and straightforward.