It gives me an excuse to write.
Richard Mitchell once said that we have the wrong idea about writing. We think of it as a vehicle of communication; that its purpose is to “communicate” what we think to others. He said that the great value of writing, for him, is that the rigor of putting his thoughts on paper, the rigor of making his logic follow, the rigor of supporting his assertions with evidence, is the making, not the telling, of what he thinks.
Okay, I have elongated and mangled and paraphrased his words. This is the exact quote, and it is much shorter (and sweeter, and clearer) than my attempt to explain him:
“I have never yet written anything, long or short, that did not surprise me. That is, for me at least, the greatest worth of writing, which is only incidentally a way of telling others what you think. Its first use is for the making of what you think, for the discovery of understanding, an act that happens only in language.”
From the Introduction to The Gift of Fire by Richard Mitchell
All I can say is, me too. That is why I love blogging: it gives me an excuse to write. And that writing gives me an opportunity to discover what I think.
Actually, I thought your “paraphrase” quite illuminating of the quote, Christine! And you distilled it into an easier understanding than his original quote—which I very much appreciated, btw!
Writing IS the act of **forming** one’s thoughts…not merely the recording of those thoughts. So very true! Keep writing! It matters….eternally!
Always appreciate Christine’s perspective!