Write Before You Think

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

—Friedrich Nietzsche

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

—Albert Einstein

The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug.

If you followed the suggestions in Chapter 1, you have established a writing routine. You have, in a sense, employed your rational mind as "a faithful servant." Your daily practice provides the structure that your rational mind needs to focus. Your intuitive mind, your creativity, is more likely to engage when your attention is not being pulled in the directions daily life demands. This time is yours alone. Your creativity can take leaps of abandon or contemplation within the containment of your writing practice.

Writing—representing language with written symbols—is an act of the rational mind. It requires systematic practice to acquire writing skills. We learn practices and conventions as we learn penmanship, punctuation, and grammar. We learn that certain practices are incorrect, and that certain sentence structures or writing conventions are preferable to others.

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