Why Writing Matters – Especially for an IAS Aspirant?

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Every time you saw a question related to UPSC civil services Mains exam, you told yourself, “Yes, I will write answer to this question today. I will write once I read all relevant material and gather important points. If not now, I will write it tonight, before going to sleep.”  Next day, you will not have enough motivation to even look at the question again and muster strength to answer it in writing. Of course you read related stuff from internet and books, but how long will you remember them? Next day you are introduced to new set of questions. Because you didn’t live upto your own expectation yesterday, today won’t be different either. This cycle continues. You will be satisfied with reading others’ answers. Reading compilations will become a habit.

As we have repeatedly told numerous aspirants on this website, it’s all just a starting trouble. You put many burdens on yourself every day – preparing a mental list of too many tasks to accomplish in a day and too many promises to your own soul. You love to follow a timetable, but pending tasks are holding you back. You hardly realise that once you start, all those pending tasks will vanish over the time provided you maintain consistency.

This is where importance of everyday writing comes in. Writing even a single answer every day gives you lots of confidence. Once you write about an issue, your thoughts will become clearer. You will feel that you have achieved something tangible in your exam preparation today.  This feeling motivates you. It is also joyful. Once you write an answer, it will remain with you for long time to come – both on paper and in your mind.

importance of writing

A sense of accomplishment is what propels you to carry on doing a work every day.  You may think that your answer may not be upto the mark. You may tell yourself that your answer doesn’t have good content or structure. Your friend or teacher might tell you that your answer looks ridiculous. You may think that you would first gain sufficient knowledge and then again start writing. Once you stop doing something that is useful, it is difficult to restart it again. Your sense of accomplishment will halt. You will again start feeling that pressure of ‘I must first complete all the pending tasks’.

You must look at writing beyond UPSC Mains exam perspective. Writing helps you build vocabulary, it improves your speed of thought process, it builds self-confidence, it helps in better communication – both oral and written, it imbibes discipline, it brings clarity in your thoughts, it makes you think independently, it breeds individuality by helping you express your thoughts in your own words; finally writing helps you remember everything better.

These are some of the essential qualities that are tested during interview too. Writing improves your personality beyond your imagination. This might sound as a sweeping statement, but you must see for yourself how writing daily transforms you into a better person.

Overcoming some of the mental blocks is crucial in getting you started. Start with a stupid answer. You will not write a good answer in your first attempt itself. You can not write a perfect answer too (there is no such thing as perfect answer). Just gather some related information, understand the demand of the question and try to answer it accordingly.

You do not have to answer on the website (if you are writing at Insights Secure), you can write in your notebook too. You can start with previous year UPSC question papers or start answering any model question papers also. Follow whichever questions, but do write your own answer to them.

Some might think that posting answers on the website is of no use when their answers are not getting any feedback from fellow aspirants. One solution to overcome this problem is that first you must start giving feedback to others answers – which is genuine, detailed and constructive. If you do this regularly, it not only benefits the writer of an answer, it will also help you in many ways. Giving right feedback is akin to helping a friend in need. It is an act of both camaraderie and empathy (yes, it is). It helps assess your own writing. It might motivate others to start giving similar feedback. Some day your answers will be given genuine feedback by the benefactors of your feedback. This will not happen overnight. This will take time, but you must persist with faith. After all, you will lose nothing (in case you think you would lose your precious time if you review others’ answers, you are wrong – you can see benefits only after a while. If you yield to cynicism, you will lose the advantage)

Participating, encouraging newcomers, leaving behind an objective feedback – all these will help build a healthy atmosphere. A fellow aspirant might be a competitor, but when you ensure there is an healthy competition, your chance of reaching the goal are more than those who refrain from participation thinking that what you are doing is useless (or thinking that the questions we post won’t get repeated in actual Mains!! – of course UPSC won’t repeat them, U in UPSC stands for Uniqueness, not ‘Uncertain/Unpredictable’. Intention of Secure initiative is to motivate you to write on  a particular issue thinking from various perspectives. Intention is not to predict and feed what UPSC is going to ask in real exam. More on this in another Article)

Every year, the competition for coveted top posts is between only few thousand people (roughly 2-3 thousand). Those who study all the time doesn’t mean he or she is your competitor. If your basics are right, if you are following a right timetable consistently focusing only on what’s demanded in this exam, if you are regularly writing and improving, be assured that you are one of these 2-3 thousand people. You are still in minority within these few thousands provided you are consistent to the core. You will always have the edge over others who do not follow a productive routine.

Start NOW if are you are still thinking to write it tonight or tomorrow. Go through any one of the questions which are posted today,  click on it and post your answer. If you are uncomfortable in typing, write it in your notebook. Also read 2-3 answers which are already written, and see how they are answering your chosen question. If possible appreciate them with an objective comment.

Leave your ego elsewhere and keep on learning every day. We all are imperfect. We can be less imperfect with each passing day only if we learn something new and good from others and try to inculcate those good things into our lives. What we need is an open mind. A mind which is free from egos.

Forget all your past. Forget all pending things. Start writing now and see the difference for yourself. Just getting motivated is not enough, you must get up and do it now. Remember, you are spending your money, time and energy to realize a dream. Your parents have so much trust on you. You have spent many years into this. Believe us, writing helps you. Stop thinking and start doing.

  • rationalising argument.

    thanks insight

    • tinky

      Thnx a lot , that was very motivating…

  • karthik g

    nice…pls throw some review on why aspirants failed in mains???is there any perfection needed?

    • Perfection is not needed. Faith is needed.

      • Buddha

        Faith? will you elaborate please?

        • Faith that your hard work will pay off. 🙂

  • nidhi

    this article was definitely needed at this point in time…wonder how insightsonindia comes to know what’swhat’s going in my mind..:D
    Thanks!

  • neelam

    Timely article. Thank you 🙂

  • rakesh

    U opened my eyes today. ..I was studyin a lot but nt writing..I see d posts f d ppl n feel dat I got d answer..bt I never tried to write my own answers…from today I ll write atleast 2-3 answers of my own..thnk u insights..

  • TRG

    For the past few days I have been procrastinating answer writing. This awesome piece of article was much needed boost and motivation to overcome the inertia. Thanks insights for such a precious advice at a time when I was grappling with uncertainty as to when should I start writing. There is no perfect situation or condition to write. Just start writing 🙂

    • Asmita Singh

      Any advice as to where should we start answer if we want to daily write 2-3 answers and continue increasing the quality and number. I’m so stressed that I usually don’t do this. As said above, I have been postponing it for a better time when I’m fully ready. But then, I want to stop this wrong habit and start writing from today. Thanks Insight 🙂

      • Sumit Jajada

        hello mam
        i am aspirant like u…
        i need guidance for test series… can i ask u?
        its different than for insights..
        so can u give mail id?

  • JS

    Thanks Insights.

    But pls suggest some guidance on revision of already written answers?

    Is is needed to revise them ?
    please suggest…

  • sandy

    thanks

  • Rohit yadav

    thank you insight for these time to time pep up dose….

  • jineesh k b

    thanks insight for a precious advise…

  • Rituraj

    Thanks for the valuable advice……much needed

  • Sneharsh

    I don’t know who you are, but I’ll look for you, I’ll find you and I’ll thank you.

    • anil

      taken -4

  • PASSION

    Thank you so much insight for this artricle ……..after reading this article..i realised my biggest mistake nd I promise from today I will post alteast 1-2 answers everyday
    Its really motivative to write…….earlier I practiced but left in between ….bt now I will not stop writing answers
    Again thank u so much sir for this eye opening article:)

  • Shweta Mishra

    Thank you so much insight, i was in dire need of such article

  • Akshita

    A much needed motivation for a lost and demotivated aspirant….Thanks a ton…?

  • Navya

    Dear INSIGHTS Team,
    This is just perfect! Many a times it happens that I skip writing answers thinking that it will consume more time. Instead I could read a chapter more. But certainly we can find a difference after writing answers. You are highly motivated and at the same time gets out the study pressure in us. I was badly in need of this high dose to keep me on the right track.

    Thank You for such a wonderful article! This article will definitely motivate all of us to answer more questions.

    • Rita

      Thank u Insight I was almost lost like in the ocean but after reading your article my confidence is back thanks once again

  • Ab

    One of the inherent feature of all the great author, movie director or any good orator is that they express the thoughts of general people in a very lucid and uncomplicated way. When the general people finds the articulation of their own thoughts and feeling by those people, automatically the height of the Author or orator rises. This article is also having same potential.

  • Urvashi Saini

    Thank you is not enough for this article !

  • ammu

    Thank you for the timely booster insights.it seems like insights is having telepathy.thanku once again

  • Krisha

    Thanks you so much insight !

  • sangeeta

    Thank u insights , i really appreciate the way you get the aspirants problem easly and and solve it by posting such kind of precious as well as motivational articles.
    Since, for 3-4 months i have been visiting insights but was not following timetable strickly but now from today i will definitly go through the daily routine.
    i really thankful to u that awaken me for answer writing.
    Though my medium will be hindi in upsc exam, still I’d like to share one problem that my spoken and written english is not fluent and good. So would it create any obstacle in clearing upsc exam. Please guide me.
    thanks a lot.

    • sangeeta

      Plz suggest.

    • STOS

      ”ALL THE ILLS OF DEMOCRACY CAN BE CURED BY MORE DEMOCRACY” – Alfred Emanuel Smith
      thus, as same if we have the problems in writings then we solution is more writing and so on….

    • Satish Reddy

      It would not create any obstacle to my knowledge.

    • Anju

      Hi sangeeta! I’ve also chosen hindi medium for UPSC exam and I don’t think there would be any problem because of our medium. We must believe in ourselves and follow the right direction. As far as your fluency in English is concerned, you can devote only 10-15 minutes everyday for speaking English because it is desirable in every job now-a-days and The Hindu is very useful for improving English as well. 🙂

      • sangeeta

        Thanku so much.

  • Krisha

    Thanks you so much …….

  • Do Or Die

    same case with me sir

  • Anwar

    Thanks a ton for waking me up…..it was like ”ka chup saadhi raha balwana”….

  • Pawan Kamboj

    thnks insight 🙂

  • Mrinali Sharma

    Amazing! You have done an act of charity here. This has helped so many lost and disillusioned candidates get their act straight. I am sure multitudes will be back on track after reading ‘HUMARE MANN KI BAAT’ in this article.
    Thanks a ton team Insights.

  • Thanks a lot for bringing such a highly encouraging article…..

  • Harshit Bansal

    Leave your ego elsewhere and keep learning everyday. This is the first time I am commenting at least. I have read insights in last 6-7 months properly and must have written answer before my mains (oct-nov), 4-5 answers each day apart from the test series I had joined at synergy and Vision. I wrote answers on loose A4 sheets and kept few of them as notes and sometimes I read my answers again to find flaws or give to my room mate to have a look at it. It works well.
    There are added advantages in writing answer:
    1. Practicing act likes filter of relevant points.
    2. Helps in realising how many minutes for how many answers
    3. Helps in revising daily newspaper and issues
    4. It makes the answer interdisciplinary in nature, where reading from one source is unidirectional.

    I have planned to start writing answer once again now, as I am done with interview yesterday and this writing exercise is the only exercise which will keep me in Loop and mood for the next time, if need arises.

    Thanks for the motivation.

  • pk

    True !

  • ~Kal-El~

    hello insights,
    u are doing an excellent job. i thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    u have made a place in my daily time table for so many months now. a day without insights feels hollow.
    i have been posting and reading answers almost daily and it has helped me shape my personality in a very good way.
    i hope to write more here and learn continuously and march towards the one goal that we all in this platform stand for.
    cheers INSIGHT TEAM !!!

  • SRINIVAS

    inspiring

  • SRINIVAS

    inspiring and much required article..thank you insights.

  • Charm

    Thank you!! i so definitely needed this!!

  • Nagoorkani

    thank you very much Sir for realizing me to understand the importance of writing. Early days i was giving my writings, due to some bad feedback and my own laziness made me stop writing in (obviously stop writing in my notebook as well). Now i got the boost to re-start my activity.. As u said i am planning to stick with my time table at least try to give a good feedback to the fellas’ work..Once again thank you encouraging me.

  • indubhushan yadav

    Nice article.

  • pr39048

    Thanks. The action begins now. Pls keep giving such dose.

  • From where to read all related infomation to the ques ? wont it will take time if i will start browsing?? OR If can i go through 3 4 ans daily and make my ans from them…????
    plz help on this issue…thank u…

  • swati90

    Thanks Insights for the much needed motivation. You’re guiding thousands of us, who are staying in far off places, where we don’t have guidance. Really grateful for your work. 🙂

  • Rajesh

    Thanks Insights, whatever u have written here is always what I thinks. There is no point of wasting time, stick to the basics and just do it.

  • DK

    Thanks insights.

  • Sunil

    Very motivating….I appreciate ur efforts Insights..

  • COOL FIGHT 2015

    it gives strength to us, thanks a lot sir, please keep writing such articles.

  • jithin

    The same issue addressed here, has been haunting me for quite some time.Some kind of a force is pulling me back from writing and I understand that it is me myself. My writing skills are poor and I used to get low marks for English in my school days.One day I gathered some strength and wrote a letter to the editor(on corruption) of a leading newspaper. But it was poorly structured and it was not published. I lost all my confidence. Almost one year after this failure, I wrote another letter to the same newspaper(this time on a subject of my interest).I wrote this letter without any fear. My poor writing skills did not bother me this time around.I did not expect it to be published, as I simply wrote what came to my mind.But the reverse happened.It was published and I was so happy. Again I have not written for a long time.I have been following this website for more than one year and still I have not written a single answer.

  • Satish Reddy

    In a busy schedule I saw this post. I dint go through the post except the heading. I say writing is the most important. I am a live exhibit here. I will put a detailed post after my interview and If I get a rank Then a detailed video how important writing is if vinay allows 🙂

  • Satish Reddy

    Good .. keep writing answers ..

  • farheen

    superb sir really u r grt becoz one of the main thing in this article is getting motivated is nt enough v hve to get up and do it this is imp thing v lack in our life so after reading this article i pretend to do this fr sure

  • Imran

    Thank you for posting this type of article insight. Because I am so curiously thinking about writing the answer. This article will help me a lot.

    • Vishal Unde

      Thanks

  • gaurav

    I appreciate the author who has written reality about preparation stage in a simple way. I thought of writing the answers regularly but due some reason or the other, I am regularly skipping it. After reading this article, I can say that it’s really simple to write regularly if we accept the reality.

  • Abi

    thanks insights 🙂

  • Masoom

    Actually I was thinking..I will practice after Pre but now I feel ..writing is most sophisticated weapon which make us in the list…thanks insights..you are eye opener.

  • rohit

    Stark reality of mine.we know this is important but we are not doing it…and when we are overloaded with previous pending task,it lead to demotivation and .demoralisation…our heart is following mind and not vice-versa.If we can come out of the tendency of ” I’ll do later”,certainly it will bring good results….and sir you were right in pointing that we think that we will write only after reading the material and covering all points of the topic.. .But from now onward i will start writing atleast 1 answer daily..This article have again boosted new energy in me.thanks a lot…sir,in last 2-3 months you posted really good questions on secure and because of my procrastination i have missed them….what to do for that!!!!!!

  • Akhil

    :'(
    I’ve been a shirker,feel like crying.
    Going to write my first answer right now.
    Thanks man. You are the real dudeson!

  • Thomas More

    Thanks & Finally – I am dragged, can’t hide anymore 🙂 this
    is my maiden comment on site. I knew from the day one that writing is something
    very essential which you can’t afford to skip but thought to start after preliminary.
    As I really have time concerns – I am far behind the basic syllabus and I am
    not at the stage where I can entertain failure but now it seems I have to
    change my approach. So from now on I have decided to write at least one answer
    daily and to give some fair reviews to some guys. For this, have to spare bit more
    time in the slot but I am not worried because “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
    (-__-) Once again, Thanks Insight &
    Vinay Sir.

  • Madhu Babu

    Dear Insights..it is much needed motivation article of time……your article fully from the perspective of aspirants practical problems…..this story happens for every ones life….we all need a motivation like this to come back to normal track to ensure track will reach the UPSC final list…we are all indebted to you for your self less service………my god give you & your team health & peaceful life…………..

  • Civils aspirant

    An awesome motivational write up.Last few lines areeven more awe-inspiring..God bless u insights team for this selfless service 🙂 >>Remember, you are spending your money, time and energy to realize a dream. Your parents have so much trust on you

  • sopan

    Great work

  • Abhishek V

    I could not agree more. I saw a quantum jump in my preparation when I started writing in Dec. Wrote daily for around three months on the site before settling on the notebook as my handwriting was an issue I needed to take care of.
    But I totally agree that you are never enough prepared. When I opened secure in Nov, I closed the tab in horror, writing only one sentence on my notebook “how the hell I am supposed to answer all this”. A month later, I found myself writing some really good answers, widely appreciated by the best of the writer(prefer not to name 😉 ) on this site.
    So go ahead! 🙂

  • Psychopath

    Sir anything on CSAT Paper II initiative will be very Helpful… I missed just by 2 marks in 2013 and in 2014 I don’t know by how much. I have been practising and also have joined your test series. I feel confident about paper I but Paper II has been a constant source of worry for me. Feeling all the hard work is going down he drain. Any suggestion will be very much appreciated.

  • Ahmed Bakhtawar

    This is exactly what is happening with me or may be this happens with everyone else, that is why INSIGHTS came up with an inspirational message.Writing is what I am going to do from tonight.

  • dhanapal

    This is real medicine for the writing practice

  • Ritz G

    Thank u insight.. This was much needed.. God bless..

  • gurreddy

    Thank you insights

  • Anurag

    I write 4-5 ans daily except on Saturdays ( very long articles) but do not post due to some time issue… i hope I’m not just making half efforts..

    Thks for the motivation pill…really needed this one.

  • Gajanan

    Thank u insight

  • Gajanan

    Thank u insight…

  • srikar225

    thank you insights…
    this is what i feel im bit laging and this article helps me to overcome my fear of posting answers daily…

  • preeti

    i am following this site for very long… indeed you are doing a great job….actually i am very hesitant in writing answers as i always feel that once i am thorough with all the subject and confident enough to write then i will start writing answers….but after reading this motivational article i feel that i should start with it….

    • Hi Preeti, hope you have started writing. Please continue it. It’s rewarding.

      • preeti

        hi! i’ve started writing answers …I am trying to be consistent with it

  • meenu

    thank u

  • ajeet singh

    realy sir it’s very impresive and realistic motivation,thanks sir

  • rishabh

    highly motivating stuff for ppl like us who have benefitted from regular coverage of questions…commendable job…insights team.

  • Noman Shibli

    Awesome article..

  • @InsightsOnIndia:disqus Dear sir, can you post one model answer each for critically analyse, analyse, comment, critically comment etc? It will be really helpful.

    • We will definitely come up with this soon. Till now we couldn’t fulfil this demand, now we will. Thank you for the reminder.

  • paul allen

    In this vastness of widespread rumours and time and again battered by failure in UPSC I am losing hope and vigour. Stumbling upon this article somewhere rekindle a desire to do again with vigour.
    I want to bank on you. I have talked to many experts and Pundits in ORN, MN and others but to no avail.
    Your ideas are very simple and innocuous but I have belief that mere following your website and writing henceforth would take me out of the woods.
    I like to and would write…as you suggested.

  • Ambanshu Sahni

    2015 is my fourth crack at the coveted UPSC exam. I have given mains twice once in 2012 and this year and i could not clear it the both time. i feel it is because of my lack of answer writing practice. I hope to make amends this year. Thanks for the motivating article.

    • Thank you. We hope you get a good rank this year. Wish you all the best!

  • జీవన్ కుమార్

    Thanks for you… This is a valuable post. Starting now..

  • NAEEM AHAMAD

    was thinking the same thing but i was in doubt ,
    thanks to insight for clearing the doubt.
    now starting ……..

    • Thank you and welcome.

      • NAEEM AHAMAD

        sir….
        actually now a days self studying optional geography , should i write answers regularly of geography.
        thanks in advance

  • gargi

    thank u so much insight..!!
    vrie motivating..!!
    wil follow it..!!

  • gamma

    this was really motivating but i fail to write answers because i am afraid

    • Hi Gamma,

      Please don’t be afraid. Try to answer first in your notebook. Try to write something related to what’s demanded by the question. Don’t worry about structure etc.

      Taking first step helps you overcome your fear. Start with something and stick with it. Eventually you will improve and start linking it.

      • gamma

        thanks for encouraging. i will try from now onwards

  • Thank you!

  • Officer

    I am really motivated by your writings . This is my first comment in insights and i promise it wont be last . Thanks for your efforts 🙂

  • Ali

    Insight very thanks to your kind advice. I will sure to try for advice. I will pray to to God to help us more in our endeavors. I must now start to follow your guidelines. And I can assure your from today your words will be indelible on my mind and my soul. Again very very thanks.

  • Shrinath Joshi

    I have been observing the discussions here !! Excellent.The discussions reveal that the writing skills of all the participants here are very good..As an evaluator in the examinations it has been possible for me to assess the competance of the students.. My suggestion to all is start writing first..rest of the things follow..All the best to all

  • Mohana Krishna

    What is the best time to start answer writing practice(for Insight Secure questions), if I am starting my preparation this month for UPSC 2016? Moreover, Is it a good idea to practice writing on current affairs questions with the limited information available at our disposal(knowledge obtained say by reading 1 week of newspapers on an issue with some background search on issue via Google – Eg: Naga peace Accord) as it is hard to frame better answers and connect with various perspectives/theories(say similar issues in history/elsewhere in world) for a beginner?

  • Chandrashekhar

    Man who wrote this article?? its so damn good and so perfectly true!! especially the 1st para – its exactly what i have been doing and it seems that this para is meant exclusively for me!! whoever wrote this article is a pro and has a great INSIGHT into the mind of an IAS ASPIRANT suffering from PROCRASTINOSIS !! Thanks a ton!!