I’ve always been more comfortable writing than speaking. But beyond the comfort level, there’s a power to writing, or recording your ideas, that speaking lacks. When you write something, it is recorded on paper or online forever. Any human now or in the future for hundreds, thousands, millions, even billions of years, could read what you had to say. That seems so much more powerful and important than communicating in person, wherein whatever you say is lost in the wind of the universe forever. One person (or small group) hears it, then it’s gone forever.
I’d rather devote my time to recording my thoughts and ideas to leave to the universe. To people living now or in the future, whether they are humans, aliens, AI, or some hybrid. They can find and read my words as long as the internet exists, which conceivably is forever.
Franz Kafka died without having children. Evolutionarily, it would seem he was a failure. He didn’t reproduce his genes for future generations. For any other species, an organism would be a failure if it produced no offspring. But humans are different because of consciousness. We can record our consciousness and leave a copy of it for future generations. They can read our thoughts, transferring our consciousness to them.
So was Kafka a failure? No. Instead of a genetic legacy of one child incorporating his genes, he created a much larger legacy, where the millions of people who have read his work have incorporated his consciousness, or his thoughts, feelings, and way of experiencing the world. His consciousness is preserved in his writing and will live forever in the minds of people who read it. All writers are immortal as long as their words are read. They preserve their consciousness through text for future generations to read and re-experience forever.
One way to achieve immortality is to have children, so your genes live on forever through them and their children, and their children’s children, and so on. But preserving your consciousness is an even more powerful form of immortality because human beings are more than their genes. Your consciousness—your thoughts and feelings—are the true reflection of your self. But how can you know another person’s consciousness—what they think and feel? You can’t. Unless they wrote down their thoughts and feelings. That is why I write.