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Hook, line and thinker


last month6 min read

In a couple of conversations today the idea of writing for health has come up, something I believe would be beneficial for anyone that does it, especially if they are consistent. It is kind of like a meditative practice where one explores the mind and sees what arrives, but rather than letting it go, follow the thread of thought to see where it leads. Of course, not all kinds of writing are suitable for this perhaps, this is more on the personal side of things, the exploration of what is important in that moment.

I read a post Write even when nobody is looking by @niallon11, where he is talking about the benefits of writing daily and I will add a quote by him to highlight a part of it,

To form good habits we need to practice them. Nobody has ever gotten to the top of their game by just turning up once. It's about turning up every day and doing the right things. I've always been a huge advocate of putting in consistent effort over time if you want to be successful at anything.

This is a different quote to which I used in my reply to him, but this is an important one when it comes to building any skill - and that includes, the skill of thought. A lot of people tend to take the default approach to thinking without considering how their thought process developed to the point it is now. For most of us, our defaults were built in childhood and solidified as we age without building the intention of thought, we meander more than direct. This is fine, but we also don't have an inbuilt reflective mechanism, so we wander through thoughts without considering why we are having them, what they mean or, where they could lead.

I think that writing is a process that slows the brain down enough to give the opportunity for some review and also provides a point of focus. Also, even if we are not presenting it to the world, we are putting it "out there" in some way and that will mean that we will put a little more consideration into what we deliver. If we are putting it into the public eye, this will often come with some level of "editing" which requires reflection and consideration of perspective. This means that instead of just looking at it through our own glasses, we will attempt to see it from other angles.

Writing is like having a private discussion and debate with a group of people in one's head, some of which might not be too kind in their appraisal of the ideas being presented. While we are exploring our thoughts, we are acknowledging them, ordering them and perhaps discovering that what we believe might not be quite as we believe it to be or, that our relationship with it is different to what we thought.

As said, thinking is like any skill and while some are naturally talented, all can benefit from developing the skill in different ways. As you might remember, I have a theory of promiscuous thinking where thoughts and ideas bang together to create new thoughts and ideas, and the more thought that takes place, the greater the speed of creation as ground can be covered much faster.

I believe that the more we write, the more we can, because the thoughts we have attract more thoughts and by doing so, the practice increases and the skill develops further to speed the thought process and then - we have a increasingly rapid stream of thought to choose from each moment.

A lot of people have a challenge to write daily, but it probably isn't a writing problem at all, it is a thinking problem. It is "hard" to come up with content daily (or multiple times) if we are not thinking that much normally. These days, we are highly consumptive of pre-chewed content, content that is easy to passively digest and because of this, we don't have to think much about what we are consuming - just sit back and enjoy. The problem is that skills degrade from disuse and the "use it or lose it" applies to thinking processes too.

I liken poor thought patterns to thinking when very tired or under stress, as the mind wanders and skips and jumps, finds it hard to focus, hard to comprehend - because in these moments, the thinking patterns are failing. Then we consume a great deal of the "fast-food" content where thought is relatively unnecessary, our brain gets very comfortable and then when it is called upon to think, hasn't stretched and therefore, feels stressed and pressured to perform, which isn't ideal.

Writing consistently gives us the space to process, a blank page to run through what we may have already passively digested, without even really tasting what we ate. That blank page seems daunting to many and once upon a time it was uncomfortable for me too, but now it is a pleasure, a field of play where my thoughts can run wild while still being tied to certain rules of the game in form and function in order to make it consumable.

The blank page is a playground, not a classroom - and all the important lessons of life are learned whilst playing.

While a lot of people think they have to "be a writer" to write, that is not the case at all. All you have to be is willing to explore your own mind and what I strongly believe is that those who do this regularly, will have an increasingly strong mind for it and, that will affect many other aspects of their life in positive ways. This doesn't mean it is easy, but it is rewarding.

My hope is that everyone spends some time reflecting through writing as I believe that in a world that is filled with polarized and explosive emotional response, a lot of emotional control will be developed along the way - and that makes for a much better discussion and build bridges for collaboration on ideas, rather than burning them down. Not only that, the ideas that get brought to the table will generally be better developed and presented in a way that people will be far more open to engaging with, which ups the odds of participation i the discussion and the evolution of the idea into something better.

Get writing - for those who start I believe most will get hooked, run the line and be a better thinker for it.

[ Gen1: Hive ]


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