Is it better to write publicly or to write privately?
I've been writing a lot publicly, which has led to a lot less writing in private. I feel that my thinking has become limited in scope as a result.
Writing privately, my thoughts meander. I don't put effort into writing concisely, or spend time forming each sentence into a coherent point. I don't feel that I'm wasting time when I explore side-topics of a particular subject, and as a result I think more, and more broadly.
I pursue my curiosities more, but I also write poorly, because I don't feel the pressure to perform. I don't shy away from loquacity, if that's the easiest way to capture my thought process, rather than trying to write as simply as possible.
I'm much more honest with myself. I am comfortable sharing things with my journal that I wouldn't share with the general public.
Conversely, when I write publicly, I practice my writing skills much more – at the expense of farther-ranging thought processes. I find myself clarifying things, stating them more precisely than I otherwise would if I were writing merely for myself.
I get better at transcribing my thoughts. I also capture more context and explain things more fully, knowing that my readers will not enjoy the same frame of mind that I do at the moment of writing (this applies even when my reader is future me).
With that all said, which is better, writing publicly or writing privately?
It's a rhetorical question that creates a false dichotomy. Each approach is useful when used at the appropriate time.
When I want to think something through carefully which is private or contains information that when shared presents only downsides, I do so in private. This includes the meandering thoughts that often produce good insights, yet are of limited value in their raw form.
When I want to practice my writing or capture a thought process fully which I think is probably useful or actionable insight in some way, then it's useful to share that publicly.
In summary, the one does not preclude the other: it's useful to write both publicly and privately. It's just important that I align my actions with my goals. As with all things, intentionality is key.
Takeaway: I need to keep writing in public, but start writing more in private so that my thinking expands further.