It is with no small irony, that I have been neglecting my blog, to, of all things, write, but I thought I would look at consuming with you today, as it was a subject that was touched upon in one of my earliest Pondering’s. Can we really create in a void? Is there such a thing as ‘new ideas’?
To be a writer, you should just write… And read, read, read.
As I, rather self indulgently, consider myself a writer of sorts – if my numerous works in progress are anything to go by- I in turn follow a number of fellow writers on Twitter.
The advice to would be writers can generally be pressed down into the following essence : write.
Write anything, on any topic, write everyday, even when you don’t feel like it especially when you don’t feel like it. Just keep those words coming.
But also: Read. Read anything, classics, modern literature, histories, foriegn culture pieces, opinion pieces, poetry… Read, read, read, consume the words and ideas of others.
So then, how do I know if what I am writing is mine, or whether it is a cloudy, regurgitation of all the other things I have absorbed. At what point will I know that what is coming out is an actual reflection of what I believe, rather than a collection of everything I have been told?
Umm, you okay Hun?
As you can gather, the ‘Mid-life crisis’ which I propound to have survived in my blogs tagline has now manifested as an existential crisis of ridiculous proportions. Do any of us have original ideas? Are we all just rehashing the work of others?
I remember being really surprised at university when in essays, to answer questions, you just used the work of existing theorists. You didn’t need to create new ideas – that is PhD level, apparently – you needed to understand what others thought in relation to the given question.
Arguably there are truly great thinkers amongst us; innovators, who are pushing forward the schools of thought and technology. But what about the rest of us? Are we just here to cycle around the same thoughts, and ideas, sometimes kicking against a norm, but then finding nothing really changes?
Even back in Old Testament times, the monotony of life was noted.
“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun ”
A slightly classier way of saying ‘same shit, different day’
So what will you do? – and drink is not an acceptable answer!
I have just finished a book on acknowledging and embracing our imperfections, and those of others. That by accepting that happiness is a destination that we will never reach, if we are incapable of being happy where we find ourselves. Maybe all ideas are just a reworking of all the pieces of ourselves that we have found in others, but surely we are all unique enough to add something new, that makes what we create quintessentially ‘us’, to the extent that even the most overplayed concept can be invigorated.
Besides, without the bad ideas, we would not have the great ones, so maybe I will just keep writing and see what comes out.