On Writing – 200 words project

September 29, 2014

Here is this week’s 200 words project – from the podcast interview of Kevin Kelly by Tim Ferriss.

“What I discovered, which is what many writers discover, is that I write in order to think. It was like, “I think I have an idea,” but when I begin to write it, I realize, “I have no idea,” and I don’t actually know what I think until I try and write it. Writing is a way for me to find out what I think. It’s like, I don’t have any ideas, it’s true, but when I write, I get the ideas. That was the revelation.”

– Kevin Kelly


I always had this mental picture of writers – when they sat down to write – words would just come pouring out. And then I read accounts of writers who found writing difficult. Somehow I understood this as writers having difficulty with the actual mechanical process of writing. Not difficulties with ‘What to write?’. And I thought I was alone in this fear of ‘How can I write anything when I don’t know what to write?’

It is both humbling and exhilarating to find that everyone has issues with idea generation in written form, that by talking about the difficulty in writing, people mean even the ‘what to write’ part.

Kevin’s insight, this approach to writing – as a way to find out what one thinks, as a part of idea generation – this is an entirely new, different way of thinking for me. And I decided to write with this mindset. And it has worked!

This mindset has taken away the stress of having to be ‘good’ and meaningful every time I write. No more using ‘I don’t know what to write’ as an excuse. How can I know what to write until I actually explore writing it by writing it? And because of these two main reasons, I find myself writing more, as the somewhat regular posts in the past three weeks prove.

And I’m thinking,  will this approach work in other ‘creative’ disciplines?


Podcast Link: https://fourhourworkweek.com/2014/08/29/kevin-kelly/

Tags: 200-words-project

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