Thursday, May 06, 2004

Thinking Right

Thinking Right

Writing is thoughts physicalized. The strength of a thought determines its effect in the physical world. Once thoughts have an external existence in the physical world, things start to happen--there's action and reaction; there are consequences. The world is never the same again.

So many things happen in our heads when we are "thinking": one thought leads to another and we often go around in circles, ending up no wiser from where we began. Thinking is difficult because it happens in non-physical space. A thought arises, disappears, to be replaced by another thought. And then we strain to hold together these transient strands of thoughts that flit in and out of our minds like restless butterflies.

Which is why writing can be such an aid to thinking--for it is an act of materializing thoughts. You are able to see the succession of thoughts that spring from your head objectively on a piece of paper or on the computer screen; there's action of the wrist and fingers and there's visual and tactile feedback. Once words and sentences form on the page, you can then easily build, dissect, backtrack or expand on them, because they now belong to the physical world which allows them to be manipulated much easier.

I've mentioned in a previous entry that I see the act of writing as something sacred, akin to meditation. When the pen touches a piece of paper, I see Michelangelo's God giving life to Adam. Once expressed in writing, thoughts have a life of their own. They spawn off reactionary thoughts in both the writer's and the reader's mind (hello!). A meme is born.

I actually find it difficult to think without writing. To me it is a process that comes together: you don't think and then write, instead you "writhink". When you "writhink", you think right.

No comments: