Why On Living?

“Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of life. All the rest comes afterwards. One must first answer this.”

Albert Camus (adapted quote).

Ever since I discovered thinking, I’ve been thinking about life. Not so much about what it is, but rather, how to live it. In that time, from age 20 until now, two things have become clear to me: I like to explore things, and I like to express myself concerning them. Through On Living, I get to fulfill those desires.

This is a place where I can explore deeply and freely, while simultaneously share my process and discoveries with you. I would now like to share some of my other reasons for creating this project.

In the first place, I think that writing about life, as a general practice, aids anyone who come in contact with it as long as they’re interested and open to change. For this reason, I want my thoughts to be easily accessible. It’s been my experience that knowledge can transform; as I’ve seen it in myself and others.

Another reason is that I want a coherent place to collect my thoughts. Over the years, more and more have accumulated and I’ve kind of spread them around. Though the core philosophy resides in my mind, some have appeared in articles and a book, some have been shared with friends and co-students, and some have been put down in forgotten-about documents. With this project, I have a canvas to capture them all—those I have now, and those I will continue to form in the future.

Another, more direct cataclyst to starting this project, lies in a frustration with the traditional book-writing process. Ever since I self-published my first book, I had worked towards an official publishing deal. But I eventually got discouraged. You see, getting a publishing deal usually requires a lot of work besides the actual writing. And my main problem was a lack of followers. Though I fully understand this requirement, as having followers is a quick and reliable testimony of one’s writing, I wanted to focus on my writing instead of chasing followes. With that said, I’m truly grateful for every follower I have. And through my interactions with them, I realize my writing has at least some potential to it. And that’s enough to keep sharing it.

Another frustration is that writing a book is a silent process. It has to be completed before it can be shared with anyone. And once it’s done, it’s static (which I realize isn’t just a bad thing). Although I share my thoughts regularly through articles, they’re rarely fit for deeper investigations. And because I find it meaningful to write long-form, I wanted a place where I could do just that. Relatedly, writing here and not for someone else, gives me full autonomy over the process. There’s no rush, no schedule. I can think when I want, about what I want, and how I want to. That’s liberating. With all this in mind, however, I envison that several books and articles might spring from this project. We’ll see. And maybe, hopefully, a community of like-minded people will arise.

The next reason doesn’t ralate so much to the actual writing. And it’s that I would like to sustain a small income. With publishing deals off the table (for now), I exclude myself from one of the biggest sources of income that a writer can have. Therefore, as mentioned at the front page, some sections will only be available to subscribers. In supporting me, you should gain a little extra; something that makes it worth it.

Finally, I wanted to create something unique. Not only for me, but for you that’s reading it as well. I hope, in the final analysis, that it will aid you in living better. And perhaps there will be an answer in here; in asking the fundamental question of life, we might answer that life is worth living.

– Jonas

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