on-going mostly unedited stream of thoughts

Why I write

I should be blogging about flat design vs skeuomorphic design. Am kidding. Or not.

But I don’t. I have written a couple of design articles in the past, but innately I have always felt the urge the pour out my heart and soul into writing pieces like this. Fragmented pieces of my thoughts, feelings and ideas, sometimes introspective, many times questioning, other times vulnerable.

I think there are plenty of designers out there writing awesome articles about design, and I don’t think adding my 2 cents is going to make any dent in the universe. I don’t think I can contribute to better pieces that is already out there. Inversely, there are not many people, much less designers, who write authentically about themselves. I wish to add to that statistic instead. Life is so short, ultimately it is important to choose where to spend your energy.

I have been asked how do I keep to a point in my essays here. I replied that I don’t. I simply write and there shouldn’t be any rules because this is pointedly my journal. The point of keeping a journal is to write mainly for myself. To document my ideas, thoughts and feelings but I choose to share it publicly. Why? I guess I am a thought-voyeur, I learned so much from reading other people’s long-form writing about their thoughts that I thought perhaps someone would like to read mine. In any case even if nobody reads it I am fine, because the biggest benefit is when I read my own entries periodically. It has been an intriguing self-discovery process when I go back in time to read my own writing. Sometimes I do not recognize myself in my own writing. Other times I get reminded why I make certain choices in my life. Often it becomes a milestone marker, of how much I have come along so far.

Writing here feels lonely sometimes, I will admit that. There is a select bunch of people who faithfully reads every post I put out, and I appreciate them with all my heart. I would arguably gain a much larger following if I had chosen to blog about design instead, but instead I have made the conscious choice to write a bunch of posts that very few people will read. I am only but human and sometimes it is nice to get some echoes back you know? 😉 Yet once in a while, I receive an email from some random stranger, telling me how much he or she can relate to my writing, how much it has meant for them to discover another kindred soul out there. That through my personal struggles they empathize, through my wins they feel like they have some kind of hope.

That makes that loneliness worthwhile. It reminds me why I write. It makes me remember that what I really want is not mass approval but a deeper connection to a niche of fellow kindred souls. It is like friends in real-life. Do I want a huge social circle or do I want a handful who truly connects with me?

Once in a while I go into paralysis, because blogging has become such a act of personal branding, that I can’t help but feel like I do not want my professional peers to think less of me because I write less-than-flattering stuff about myself. It seems like some industry standard to project some sort of image just to meet certain expectations. Time and again I tell myself, if I have worked so hard professionally to have some moderate success in my work and yet I am still afraid to be myself, what gives for other people who did not have access to opportunities like me? Would they have to live in whatever closet they are in, forever?

I am writing in hope that someone out there could perhaps derive from all my little stories that it is okay to be honest, imperfect, vulnerable and yet have a good shot at the game of life. If I want to be the change I want to see in this world, then writing here is the start. I want to be blunt, I would like to bare my soul, I would like to admit all my fears and insecurities. I want to be as authentic as possible because I truly believe the world will be a much better place if less people are afraid to be who they are. But I cannot be a hypocrite and say that is the world I want to live in, and yet only write about the good things in my life.

You see, that is precisely what I am against. I am against the glossy magazine covers of seemingly perfect people, or the glorification of wins. Winning is not pretty at all, but we like to cover up all the pain and sacrifices. Not many people talk about the loneliness, the burnouts, or the relationships destroyed. Or the self-doubt that plague our consciousness, no matter how many wins one can have. Being unable to talk about our flaws and weaknesses is contributing to a society rewarding superficial successes. It perpetuates a vicious cycle of people being unable to express themselves which leads to too many painful repercussions.

I cannot guarantee that there is anything to derive from my posts, or that my writing would be coherent, neither can I promise quality or substance, but I can assure you that I will always try my best to bare my soul in my writing, if that counts for something. I hope to always have the courage to be able to share my journey here with you and to be able to reconcile the tradeoffs I have to make in order to write this way.

With every post I manage to publish, I feel as if I am edging a little closer to being more comfortable in my own skin, slowly but surely. With every word I write, I am honoring my intentions by letting them move freely in cyberspace.

5 thoughts on “Why I write”

  1. Kris lim li says:

    Hey u.. This is the first time im reading your blog n as fragmented as it is its good release your thoughts n be free.
    It only takes 1 person to relate to u and you’ve succeded in blogging your thoughts, points, philosophy etc etc across.
    Just wana say keep on writing n expressing yourself. Its great to know i have such a friend 🙂

  2. Tessa Doevenspeck says:

    I am one of those that read every piece that you write, but rarely comment 🙂 perhaps I should so that you feel a little less lonely when you write. People write for different reasons, some to purge themselves, others to help others along their path, some to pass on their knowledge and other still as a catharsis. Ultimately I think we all write for selfish reasons. and that’s ok.

  3. Michelle Lara Lin says:

    You are officially my new favorite person Winnie! I love reading your writing.

    Once in a while I go into paralysis, because blogging has become such a act of personal branding, that I can’t help but feel like I do not want my professional peers to think less of me because I write less-than-flattering stuff about myself.

    Completely relatable…

  4. Shad Romero says:

    Hi Winnie,

    I came across your blog from a mentioned at And I must say that when I came across your blog I thought to myself “Here we go. Another blog about design mumbo jumbo”. But after reading through your post, I’ve found your writing to be so touching and personal. Reading is not one my starting points in learning because I am more of visual person plus I like to think I have an occasional case of ADHD sometimes (not diagnosed though) 😛 But your blog is so amazingly different that I just couldn’t stop reading. Keep up the amazing work and I will be checking in for future updates.

    Your newest subscriber,

  5. Eliot Peper says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Thanks so much for sharing. Writing is about intimacy, not facades.

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