Learn more about creativity with this collection
Understanding the concept of the self
The importance of living in the present moment
The illusion of control
You don’t talk about these ideas, because you’ve never put them into words. They’re just gut feelings.
Turning gut feelings into tools means understanding their origin, limits, and how they interact with other ideas. Which requires turning them into words.
And it does that in ways thinking on its own will never accomplish.
It’s difficult to focus on a topic in our heads for more than a few seconds without getting distracted by another thought, and distractions erase whatever we attempted to think about.
But words on paper stick. They aren’t washed away by the agitator in our heads.
Sometimes writing is encouraging. You realize you understand a topic better than you thought. The process flushes out all kinds of other ideas you never knew you had hiding upstairs. Now you can apply those insights elsewhere.
Other times it’s painful. Forcing the logic of your thoughts into words can uncover the flaws and biases of your ideas. Seeing the words on paper looks ridiculous. Things the mind tends to gloss over the pen tends to highlight.
Some of the things I think I think, I find don’t make any sense when I start trying to write them down. You ought to be able to explain why you’re taking the job you’re taking, why you’re making the investment you’re making, or whatever it may be. And if it can’t stand applying pencil to paper, you’d better think it through some more.
Writers don’t know exactly what they’ll write about until they start writing, because the process crystallizes the fuzzy ideas we all have floating around.
This is probably why writing is intimidating for some people. They don’t think they can write because, in their head, they don’t know what they’d write about. But hardly anyone does.
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