Why Writing Matters – Especially for an IAS Aspirant?
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.
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.