Dear Reader, let us write. Everyone everywhere has taken a picture of everything. Everybody sang a song, performed a skit, made millions of people laugh. That is, of course, no reason to stop. But we could perhaps write too, occasionally.
Not pithy posts, not alphabets, characters, acronyms, and phonetics. Full-length words and almost thousands of them, written for no purpose at all. Not for self-promotion or articulating the impact of one’s work. Not for money, not for any cause. Just write something about the daily life you live, not any achievement or drama, not any pain or challenge, just about the days you live and move on to the next. And not a poem, please. Like a song, it needs validation. We will not seek that for now.
When we write, the eager BARDs and the GPTs will want to help us a little. We don’t mind. Not all of us need them. But AI has been helping us for a while now, all the spell checks and grammar tips, the dictionaries, and auto completes. Prompting AI tools to write for a purpose, mostly business and commercial use, makes sense. But writing simply to experience the act of writing and then using AI writing tools is like installing a robot to run on the treadmill for you.
Writing was once an Invention
Socrates questioned the wisdom of the invention of writing over 2,000 years ago. From Plato’s Phaedrus, we come to know how Socrates criticized writing for weakening the necessity and power of memory and allowing the pretence of understanding rather than true understanding. Socrates was an advocate for dialogue and discourse and would have perhaps embraced the podcast wave like nobody’s business. “Writing will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without
instruction and will, therefore, seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with since they are not wise, but only appear wise.” Doesn’t this excerpt from Plato’s mythical story of Thamus (The King and Critic of letters and writing) and Theuth (The genius inventor of letters ) sound familiar to our skepticism around most modern inventions that were meant to automate and improve efficiency and accuracy of tasks, starting from calculators to computers to AI?
Almost a little over a decade ago, we wondered if, due to digital and mobile phone cameras and social media’s combined effect, we would get drowned in our own images and thus lose our interest in photography forever. On the contrary, does the reality look anything even remotely close to that speculation? Perhaps the opposite has taken effect in unicorn start-ups still finding lucrative opportunities in the business of images.
Similarly, writing meant for business and personal prosperity will benefit from AI. Both at personal and professional levels, we carry out various styles of instructional, informational, persuasive, and transactional writing. AI will add value, quality, and efficiency, no doubt. So don’t sign off writing yet. Things are not so dark after all.
Writing for the love of it, is creative
Here we introduce The Daily Life Magazine to you. This magazine is not for writers who write professionally. It is also for them, but it is mainly for those who can write but hardly write. This magazine is for those who read good writing, appreciate it, and, just like that, sit down to write one day.
Our readers are the daily lifers. They have a life with, usually, a lot going on. Things they want and some they don’t mind. They sometimes have things to do they wish they could change or do differently. They see, feel, experience the everyday and let most things be. They don’t seize the day, every day. They haven’t watched the movie The Dead Poets Society, or if they did, they perhaps wondered what all the fuss was about. They simply live as if there is a tomorrow, and they ensure it will be fine. They are many characters, managers, doctors, educators, mothers, fathers, artists, and they also write, because they are thinkers. The daily life magazine is a homage to them, you, our readers. The readers who don’t make everything about themselves, often instead, make it about Time, Space, and People around them.
Now that we know each other and how we want to create a place for the dailyness of things – spaces, people, and habits, let us collect and curate them in this global platform of writings and notes.
Written by: Esha Sen Madhavan
[Founder Editor, The Daily Life Magazine]‘Read Write More Please’ First Published in The Daily Life Magazine on May 30, 2023