The writing interest paradox

4th September 2016

The "writing interest paradox" is a term I hereby contrive to explain the paradox where a blogger is either:

  1. Interested in a topic, in which case one is incapable of writing objectively or reflectively about it.
  2. Experienced in a topic, and no therefore longer find it interesting. In this state one could write a good, objective article about the topic but doesn't feel inclined to.
stock image
                                                                                            representing a laptop and a notepad

I think this happens to me because when I am interested in something while I am learning about it. Once I know everything I am able to think reflectively about it but have no passion to write about it.

A good example of an article that's quality suffered because of the writing interest paradox would be this article I wrote last year:

Example 1: Debunking ridiculous myths about cryptography

You can immediately infer from the title that this post is written by someone slightly emotionally charged (note word "ridiculous").

While the article is generally accurate and makes a valid point, it's clearly an opinion piece written by a person having particular feelings at the time of writing. Also it tries to explain how common encryption algorithms work as it makes a point. Really it would have made more sense to have two articles; a technical article about encryption and an opinion piece about misconceptions.

Now have a look at this article:

Example 2: Computer games

OK, title rather broad. Could be the title of a page on Wikipedia. Article is in fact an opinion piece about what part video games play in our lives.

Article promises to "analyse the psychological uses and effects of computer games", which it does in a shallow manner, with a very obvious undercurrent of negative bias stemming from the fact that the author went through a period of video game addiction shortly prior to writing it.

How bad is it?

This problem can be so bad that I didn't even bother to migrate many articles from my old blog because they no longer really reflected my current feelings. I find that these old articles can't really be "fixed up", because my feelings or bias have such a profound influence on the article. The only thing to do would be to write an entirely new article on the topic.

This problem doesn't effect all articles though. Many of my old articles are fine. Here is an example of an article that was written about something I was interested in at the time which nevertheless remains a perfectly good article: S10 mini speaker bass-boost technology. And here is a persuasive article which reflected something I felt strongly about at the time, which I feel is still very good: Why you should keep internet-facing software up-to-date.


People who are interested in something are not necessarily the best person to write about it. People find fascinating that which they don't understand. Or perhaps they have some other interest such as money etc etc blah blah.