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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

More people should write | James Somers, the blog

OK. I can't argue with the headline. As a professional writer, I write for a living. But until I started writing this blog, I didn't write much outside work. Sure, I have written longish emails to some friends and family members, and I write frequently in Facebook and Twitter, but they're mostly short and very short notes in messages I post.

I don't write for its own sake--and for the benefits it might bring me to do so.

This column by James Somers gives some good reasons why I--and most people--should do it ... or at least try to do it.

He writes:
You should write because when you know that you’re going to write, it changes the way you live.
And then he describes a book of essays about scientists' notes, which detail the questions raised as the scientists observes plant and animal life. By observing things and by asking questions about what they see, the scientists stretch their minds and learn things.

Somers writes:
That’s the promise: you will live more curiously if you write. You will become a scientist, if not of the natural world than of whatever world you care about. More of that world will pop alive. You will see more when you look at it.
It’s like what happens to a room during a game of “I Spy”: if your friend spies something red, the red stuff glows.
He then describes how he imagines this writing process, using creative metaphors like "a mental bucket," "an attractor for and generator of thought," "a thematic gravity well," and "a magnet for what otherwise would be a mess of iron filings."

And then he provides an easy way to get started. I recommend reading his easy-to-read column and get started. I know I'm going to do it.

This essay reminds me of a former colleague (a writer) who's become an artist. She carries a sketchbook with her, always prepared and often planning to spend free time recording what she sees. She's become even more observant and benefits from the experience and creativity that results.
This article is featured today in Garbl's Simple Dreams--available daily at the Simplicity tab above and by free email subscription.

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