Sunday, March 12, 2006

Writing: The Creative Catalyst

Hooked On Writing

Several years ago I was bit by the writing bug. It began innocently enough as an exercise to solve a problem on which I was working. In time I bought a journal and started writing nearly everyday in it. It seemed some days I would stare at a blank page forever, but each day I eventually found something to write. I soon discovered I could pick just about any random thought out of my mind and begin writing about it. Within several sentences something amazing would happen. The random thought grew into an idea. The very act of writing somehow nurtured it along and allowed it develop roots and find a life of its own. It was not that each thought developed into the most profound idea. It was that each thought, through writing, developed into an idea. There is some amazing force attributable to the act of writing that is released in the mind which catalyzes the creative process. That is what got me hooked on writing, and like all pleasant habits I heard the call for more.

The Thrill of Blogging

Sooner or later if you write often and regular you begin to take yourself seriously, maybe too seriously. I'm no different. I believed what I wrote must not be kept from the public. My initial goal was to write a book but after several months, in a vain attempt, it became obvious that I bit off more than I could chew. I continued to write and focused it on the healthcare industry. With this focus came my first blog. What a thrill. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me. Since the invention of the Gutenberg press being published meant being approved by those who publish. Blogs changed all that. Blogs cannot be spiked. To traditionalists the idea that anyone can publish anything, at anytime, must seem abhorrent. Without publishers and editors to authorize and sanitize what gets published the playing field of ideas became wide open. The downside is that all of us, myself included, get to publish as much crap as our heart desires. The upside is no one has to read it unless of course they choose to read it. That is the tremendous benefit of blogs. We get access to the world of pure, unfiltered ideas previously only seen by editors. Knocking down the walls of editing and censorship opened up the flood of raw resources needed for further innovation and creativity. Those resources become the fresh, untouched material for new thoughts and of course more creative writing.

"Publish Post": The One Click That Takes The Most Courage

Writing forces us to organize our thoughts at a higher level. It gives order to an otherwise poorly organized or even unorganized group of random thoughts. With practice, order is created through our powers of observation and reasoning. Writing builds on that order by using our unique set of values, language, style and voice to further nurture those thoughts and ideas. In doing so ideas develop in ways not achievable if left unattended in our minds. Blogging has the potential to enhance our writing beyond even that. It is the act of publishing that does it.

Publishing what we write puts it all out there if we so choose. It is how we think and feel. It says something about who we are as individuals. It speaks with our voice about our values, beliefs, interests and passions. What we put out there is a view into our heart, our mind, and our soul.

Not a single person in the world may read what we wrote but then again they just might. Knowing there is a chance forces each of us to prepare our ideas for primetime. Each time we do this our ideas improve and so do we. And that is why it is so important. When we put that much of ourselves on the line like that it takes courage and at least for today each of us gets to live and feel better knowing, that in return, we gave it our all.

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