Writing for Discovery

Our lives are so busy nowadays that we rarely stop to think about what we’re thinking. Or even take enough time to actually think what we’re thinking. Thoughts zoom around, competing with television, radio, movies, plus the near- entirety of the world’s knowledge that we can now carry in our pockets and whip out at the first dreaded sign of having a moment’s idle time. Daydreaming, mulling over, ruminating – all take a backseat to the immediacy and retinal overstimulation of Candy Crush and Bejeweled on the playing-card-sized computers we carry around with us. I know it seems like a symbiotic relationship, but I have a secret suspicion our smart phones are more parasitic than beneficial, and may actually be our new digital overlords to whom we have yet to realize our level of enslavement. But I digress.

Unplug. Pick up your writing utensil of choice. (This is mine.) Start writing. Just let the words flow. After a little while, you’ll get to the end of the obvious things in the forefront of your mind. Resist the urge to check Facebook. Or Twitter. Or whatever your electronic crack-du-jour is. Write “I feel…” on the page and then see what your hand writes after it. Do it again. Ten more times. Whenever something you write surprises you, write some more about that. Or maybe “I want…” or “I think…” would be better starters for you. This exercise is for giving yourself time to actually think out the thoughts that sometimes flit away too fast or are constantly preempted by other concerns or distractions. Time to feel the feelings that are too often squashed with chocolate chip cookies and ten more games of Solitaire.

During my writing time this morning, I decided to write out a WANT! list and then rate the items so I could decide what I might purchase next. I discovered that most of the things I wanted to put on my WANT! list weren’t things I could get with money. I discovered that I pretty much have all the stuff I need. What I really want is more time for writing. And realizing that, I can make a plan. And so can you.

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