Sunday, September 6, 2009

New [School] Year Resolutions - Part 2

2. Write, write, write.

Up until the beginning of August, I had been keeping a journal pretty consistently for about six months. It didn't have anything profound (except where I quoted Lewis or Willard, haha). It was a meagre collection of my own silly thoughts expressed in black ink on a book of blank paper created especially for those semi-introverted, self-examining people like me. I abandoned the thing because I have felt a bit conflicted about whether or not keeping a book of my own silly thoughts is too self-centered, whether it's worth my time and effort.

The most amusing and vain reason for keeping a journal/blog is that all the great authors did it (journal, not blog.) They wrote letters, kept journals (Hemmingway made Moleskine famous, after all) and had manuscripts of random scribblings. If ever I become a famous writer, I don't want to be left out of the Journaling Club of Dead Authors (JoCDA for those of you who don't know.)

Another easy answer to my questioning was simply that one becomes a better writer the more one does it. That's as good a reason as any, especially if I want to be a female Dallas Willard someday.

Finally, the brilliant Dr. Kevin Diller unknowingly answered my unspoken question a few days ago when we had our first Metaphysics class together. He said, 1) when you write, you think more clearly and 2) writing allows you to have sustained thought. So I definitely picked up the connection there between writing and thinking. I do a lot of thinking, it would make sense that I'd do a lot of writing.

Most importantly, when I write things down it allows me to look back a few days later and evaluate myself more objectively. I have a vastly different opinion than monsieur Michel Foucault who said, "What, do you imagine that I would take so much trouble and so much pleasure in writing, do you think that I would keep so persistently to my task, if I were not preparing – with a rather shaky hand – a labyrinth into which I can venture, into which I can move my discourse... in which I can lose myself and appear at last to eyes that I will never have to meet again. I am no doubt not the only one who writes in order to have no face. Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write." No. My writing spurs my morality, forcing me to ask questions like, "Should I have been thinking this? How has my perspective changed? What was influencing my opinion about this at the time? What does God have to say about this?" All good questions, all facilitated by writing and re-reading.

So my second new school year resolution is to journal consistently and about anything in my head or heart. Whether God or Satan put it there, I can learn from it--especially when I write it down.

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