Art of Writing Part I: Why To Write

Power of WordsOnly a little more than a year ago I was completely uninterested in writing. However, over the last several months I have found a deep and profound attraction to it, and I enjoy it more than just about anything else. I love writing because it gives me the time to think things through, it helps me learn more about myself, and it gives me the ability to more clearly see my own thoughts.

As a lover of writing, I am resolved to assist you in learning to love writing. Over the course of the next few weeks I will  be doing a series (the Art of Writing series) that will hopefully inspire within you a passion for this art. It is a beautiful thing, and I hope to show you that.

A comparison of our two main mediums of communication shows the stark contrast between spoken word and written word. Speech is generally very impromptu. We do not frequently have the time, or presence of mind, to follow our thoughts to their logical ends. We seldom have the discipline to eliminate any internal inconsistencies or fallacious reasoning.

When I speak, I often say something and then directly contradict it just seconds later. My logic is often shaky, and I find myself scrambling to cover my tracks and clarify myself. When I speak, I often find that I am forced to give reasons for what I believe without having had the time to formulate consistent, logical, coherent, and sound justifications for my beliefs.

However, when I write, I can carefully and deliberately choose my words, I can debate the topic in my head and find the strongest arguments, and I can come up with precise, accurate justifications for my opinions. When I write, I think things through.

The basis for good argumentation or conversation is essentially forethought. It can be difficult to make legitimate assertions when you have never thought about a topic. Writing, on the other hand, gives you the time to process thoughts as they come and eliminate the less than ideal ones. Writing is thoughtful in its very nature.

Furthermore, writing is typically an introspective endeavor. We use language to describe our thoughts and feelings. When we have those feelings sitting on paper before us, it is much easier to comprehend them. Also, when we have our thoughts sitting before us, we can easily examine their rationality and soundness.

Through the examination of one’s own writing, lessons can be learned of the internal world that stirs within. The ancient Greek temple in Delphi was inscribed with the command to, “Know thyself.” Plato and Socrates both looked to the internal world in order to fulfil this command, and man has been doing so every since.

Becoming A Good Writer - Why To Write - Ernest Hemingway QuoteAs you read your writings, you will get to glimpse the thoughts and emotions that make up your psych. I immensely enjoy re-reading things that I wrote yesteryear. I love looking at where I have come from. When I want comfort or company, my writing is always an option that I can depend upon.

Finally, when I write something down, it is there for me to debate, map out, or put under hours of intensive scrutiny. I can literally see my thoughts, and I can always fall back upon them when I am in doubt. If you have already written a premise, why make up a new one every time you get into a discussion with someone?

I know that I am somewhat forgetful by nature. If I don’t write something down, I probably won’t remember it next week. That is why I write whenever I have the inspiration.

Years ago, before I discovered the comfort and charm of writing, I would simply make stories up in my head. Now, however, I cannot remember any of the details. Because of this problem, I have more recently take to writing down the details of my stories.

I do not exclusively write dry, academic analyses of dry, academic topics, I also write fiction. Fiction is a superb medium for conveying one’s world-view  and I plan to utilize it as much as I can. To see the power of fictional writing in conveying ideas, look no further than C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, or J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings. Fiction is powerful.

Of course, non-fiction can be incredibly persuasive if done correctly as well, and when you can flip through your thoughts, when you can hold them in your hand, you have something which you can really mold into something useful.

I love reading, I love writing, and I love thinking. Each of these activities are symbiotic in nature, and if you learn to do one, the others will usually follow. I know that I loved reading, and when I began competing in debate competitions I fell in love with contemplation and thought. When I signed up for an advanced composition class, it wasn’t because I loved writing, it was because I wanted a credit for my transcript. Now, however, I love writing and find it relaxing, revealing, and entertaining.

I hope that you too will learn to love writing. It can teach you a lot about your feelings and thoughts, and it is an incredibly useful tool that can be employed to one’s advantage. Read, write, and think.

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