Quality of mind has no substitute.
Developing quality of mind means that everything we do as artists and writers moves us toward honesty, focus, awareness, equilibrium, tranquility, and responsibility. These are the building blocks of our development, the foundation on which what we express is built.
Self-expression is not simply a question of pouring out that which is within us but also a question of the quality of that which is within us, the development of that which is within us.
All individuals make their own decisions about their best values.
Writing well doesn’t only mean we add our voices to the cacophony that fills our world. Writing well means that what we say has been nurtured by our choices, our daily practices. We’ve considered and developed our perspectives and taken into account that our perspectives aren’t the only ones. We’re consciously engaged. We’re responsible to the conversation without being reactionary. This, as I understand it at least, is the practice of writing.
We’re writing to change, to grow.
Nothing beats the feeling in the back of my head when I grasp a new concept. That feeling tells me that I’ve grown. I’ve expanded my consciousness. I’ve learned to see my world, myself, and other people in a new way. I seek that feeling in my work.
Growing, as a person and a thinker, I believe, makes me better able to write and to connect. Growth is the path of writing, the path of engaging my community.
“The issue is honesty not truth.”
The difficult task of thinking allows us to generate meaning in our lives. By rolling a concept around in our mind, seeing it from different angles, we understand ourselves and learn to see other people in more complex ways, in several ways at once.
Reality is not the looking glass an immature mind yearns for it to be. Reality denies easy affirmation and demands honesty. Honesty removes the easy answers, the pedantic, and the trite.
The issue is honesty not truth.
We’re not trying to get right so we can be right and everything will be alright. We’re working to understand not control.
Thinking functions at a profound level, though not solely, within language. The act of writing is an act of thinking, and the act of reading requires thought. Some writing requires more thought than other writing, and that’s fine; all types of writing can be pleasurable, really.
Our goal here is to examine the relationship between our work and how we are thinking and, in turn, how that thinking functions in our work and our lives.
Image by Kat Stokes courtesy of Unsplash