Friday, November 20, 2015

A Few Notes on Writing

To write is to think and to think is to learn. 

I have taken a vacation day today to focus on writing. For several months I have been working on drafting a book. It is a personal project - unrelated to my work as a faculty member at university - and I have been thinking about it for the past 7 years. This year I committed to writing this book, and over the last 4 months I have created the time to write (mostly using vacation days and writing from 5:00 am to 11 am). This is in addition to my academic writing, which is focused on the practice of instructional design.

I love writing - it allows me to give shape to my thoughts. From day-to-day nearly all my time is spent doing, seeing, consuming, waiting, and listening. Like everyone else, I swim in and endless sea of information. Writing allows me to stop and reflect, to clarify what I have learned from my experiences.

Requirements for Writing
  • Computer - I use a simple acer chromebook and use google docs as my writing platform. It works great.
  • Wireless Connection - I write at home and often go to the library or a cafe or restaurant if I need some extra focus.
  • Headphones - Essential for writing. Headphones muffle the loud people in the cafe (there was a really loud guy in McDonald's this morning). I listen to music while I write - music that is mainly instrumental, somewhat fluid, and has a steady energy to it. Some of the more relaxed digital tracks are excellent. I will post my list of favorite writing music shortly.
  • Nutrition - cold water, protein, whole grains all get my mind in the right state. For extra focus I may sip a Diet Dr. Pepper.
Writing is the ultimate expression of thought. Speaking is critical, and a conversation can significantly shape our thoughts. But writing forces clarity. A clearly composed thought has great power.

Why do I write? There is something inside of me that wants to be released. Writing helps me let it out, shape it, and nurture it into something meaningful, clear, and purposeful. Writing allows me to contribute to the thought and experience and of humanity.

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