Drawing instead of writing

As I wrote in an older post, I belong to the paper generation. Typing a post on the computer requires from me some scratching on a paper. I believe there is a mechanism which goes from the hand to the brain making my ideas flow much better than typing on the cold keyboard.

Putting aside the romantic in me or the child in me who loves stationary shops, the writer in me is blocked. I tried to focus but there is so much going on in the world that I can’t grasp nor process.

While the world has eyes on the U.S presidential elections, while a french history teacher was slaughtered for bringing up a delicate subject, the freedom of speech, while racist and anti racist dialogues have been everywhere on the news, while feminism is becoming an extreme feminism, while wars are on a bit everywhere, while #covid19 still striking… I found myself drawing with my blue inked pen.

In fact, I love drawing with a pen. It is more difficult because erasing is not possible. Anyway, there was something liberating about doing it. My mind was clearer: the world is a mad men place! The clearer this idea was, the more I drew lines.

It didn’t solve the problems of the world and it certainly didn’t make people more aware but it surely made me happy for a while.

I hope you will like my drawings!

The writer’s block exists

The idea behind this title is not the block as a block, since one can write whatever comes to their mind. However, the writer’s block exists in terms of creativity and ideas flow.

In philosophy writing, a block can be undone by starting with definition and analysis of the main concept (or concepts). It ensures a depth of the writing without passing by some ramblings found here and there to add more lines/pages. Added to this, and it is the most important part of a philosophical writing ( whether it is an essay or a dissertation or even an explanation of a text) is the questioning part. That’s the real philosophical exercise; otherwise it will be just a presentation.

Then, one can get inspired from other writers or philosophers in case of a philosophical essay. Perhaps quoting some of their paragraphs or even comparing them to other thinkers/philosophers/writers (all depends on the content to be delivered). Not to forget to keep the questioning going.

In conclusion a writer’s block exists in terms of depth and analysis.

A blog post by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is beyond any introduction. He is one the most famous and most prolific bloggers out there. I am reblogging his post because, as usual, his posts are accurate and straight to the point.

Dancing with belief

All of us believe things that might be inconsistent, not based on how the real world actually works or not shared by others. That’s what makes us human.

There are some questions we can ask ourselves about our beliefs that might help us create the change we seek:

Is it working?

If your belief is working for you, if it’s helping you navigate a crazy world and find solace, and if it’s not hurting anyone else, it’s doing what it’s supposed to do. Often, beliefs are about finding human connection and a way to tell ourselves about our place in the world, not as an accurate predictive insight as to what’s actually happening. And beliefs are almost always about community, about being part of something.

Is it helpful?

Air traffic controllers and meteorologists rarely believe that the earth is flat. It’s a belief that would get in the way of being competent at their work. If your beliefs are getting in the way of your work, of your health or the health of those around you, or of your ability to be a contributing citizen, it might be worth examining why you have them and how they got there. Did you decide to have these beliefs or did someone with an agenda that doesn’t match yours promote them?

Is it true? 

True in the sense that it’s falsifiable, verifiable, testable and predictive. Falsifiable means that the belief is specific enough that something contrary to the belief could be discovered (“there are no orange swans” is a falsifiable belief, because all we need to do is find one orange swan). It’s not necessary for a belief to be scientifically true, in fact, it undermines the very nature of belief to require evidence. Once there’s evidence, then whatever is true is true, whether or not you believe it.

Do you need it to be true?

Which means that much of what we do to somehow prove our beliefs are true is wasted time and effort. If a belief is helping you make your way through the world, if it acts as a placebo and a balm and a rubric, then that’s sufficient. The problems occur when some people use our beliefs to manipulate us, when they prevent us from accomplishing our goals or contributing to the well being of those around us.

What would change your mind?

If we decide that our belief is actually true, we owe it to ourselves to be clear about what would have to happen for us to realize that it’s not. One of the frustrating things about conspiracies and modern memes is that as soon as they’re examined or contradicted, they’re simply replaced with a new variation. It’s one thing to change beliefs because the scientific method shows us a more clear view of what’s happening, it’s totally different to retreat to ever more unrelated stories in the face of reality. Sometimes, it’s easier for people to amend their belief with one more layer of insulation than it is to acknowledge how the world is likely to work.

Creativity’s backup

Self-expression is one click away. Anyone can show up to their beliefs, ideas and crafts.

Talents are overpraised and overrated.

There’s no such thing as a talent. There is potential to be cultivated.

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. However the beholder doesn’t see the backstage tremendous effort.

A great result requires a great work!

It’s not about finding a passion then starting to work on it. It’s about doing everything (or almost everything) passionately. It’s about showing up every single day.

Procrastination is the fear of failing.

Only hard work is the creativity’s backup.

Philosophically “backpacking” for June

 

Hello dear readers,

Your likes and comments make me smile from ear to ear. Thank you so much for being consistent and loyal to my blog. Now I need your help to prepare my blog for the months to come and here’s a little poll for you and it would really help me to see your answers. Again thank you so much, you are my main inspiration.

What do you prefer to read on my blog?

  • Philosophy in general/ philosophers showcasing?
  • Well-being and self-help?
  • Poetry?
  • More about what’s happening in the world?

 

A different definition of writing

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Writing is not only about expressing ideas or telling a story. Whereas the aforementioned is true, writing goes beyond this, even for philosophy writing too.

How can writing be defined?

Writing is about creating moments. A moment is created when meeting a person, an event, an idea even if it is an internal subjective one. It’s like being hooked and digging deeper. Writing is about the perpetuation of that moment, which can go through fluctuations along the writing exercice.

On parallel, the reader will be hooked on that moment and will go through fluctuations as well. Being emotional or rational, or both ideally, the fluctuation of both the writer and the reader, will propel them into the ongoing moment crafted by writing.

That moment is like a runway show: colours, shapes, emotions, concepts, themes will showcase for the writer and the reader. Often, the writer is hooked but not the reader; maybe a different reader would be. That’s the risk of creativity specially in writing.

The worse kind of writing is the one that stops the moment. Or the one that doesn’t create any moment. The writing that doesn’t pick up what’s left and go further with it, is the kind of forgotten books shortly after reading them.

Writing means a constant search for the upcoming word and idea.

Meeting a new “other”, might be a person or a place, an idea or a picture, an event or a book etc., is the ultimate goal of a writer.

If not, what would writing be?

What I have learned in 2019 from blogging

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In 2019 I published 109 posts, a number that is higher than my expectations. I am not a prolific writer: I love to write but I think I am a better speaker. In 2019, when I took blogging more seriously, there was a shift in my way of thinking and expressing.

When I compare my early posts to recent ones I see a change in how I say things and the contents. Before, my posts were more complicated and now they have become simpler. I learned that perfectibility is about discipline and consistency. Basically I learned blogging by blogging. There is no other way.

I have learned also more about myself. It is magical I would say how therapeutic writing is. Somehow, I feel lighter but sharper. This is what I call harmony and wit.

Last but not least, I learned a lot by reading my fellow bloggers and interacting with them. And that is the most beautiful thing!

What have you learned from blogging this year?

Short philosophical writings vs. long philosophical writings

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Perhaps it’s secondary to the content, the length and the style in philosophical writings is still a dilemma. What are the reasons behind this issue and is there a mold to respect?

Nietzsche wrote in aphorisms and it didn’t make him less of a philosopher. On the contrary, Hegel wrote long essays and it didn’t make him less of a philosopher either.

I enjoy both and I am able to do both but I am more inclined to short concise writings. I guess it has to do with one’s character and personality. As long as it handles a good content, any length is fine to me. It all depends on an analytical approach vs. a synthetical one.

More crucially is to know as a philosopher who is your reader. If the reader is a “professional” philosopher, then long and difficult writing is fine. If the reader is a non-philosopher, then definitely, shorter and simpler writing is required.  Added to this, and it goes for any writer, the aim must be clear. Therefore as a philosopher I ask myself: do I want philosophy to be an elite’s occupation or do I want it to be read by the whole world?

When the answer and the objective are clear, the writing’s form, length and style will follow.

Why the streets are a great inspiration for blogging

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(the photo shows a street in Beirut)

Alongside advices given by famous bloggers about ways to get inspired, such as reading for writing blogs (it works for me), I think inspiration comes from where life is. I mean cultural life. The streets happen to be the central point of human activities from which you can learn a lot.

Here are some reasons why you should leave your computer for a while and go down the streets for as long as you can to be inspired for your blog

  • The vibe: the street is the scene where life is deployed. Unwillingly you will get caught up in its ambiance and energy. Unless you are sleeping there, you can’t be passive down the streets. You will be forced to be physically and mentally engaged. This can infuse new ideas to your blogging activity.
  • The trend and the happening: are not all on social media which is a part of reality. The other part of it, the physical one, the one you can perceive, remains the more important aspect of the bigger reality. Open your senses and your mind and you will be bombarded with new ideas.
  • People: the main actors of any cultural reality. Have a chat, even with a complete stranger, is enough to exchange ideas. Nothing compares to a human contact. Yes you can think on your own, but you will think better with others.
  • Emotions, good or bad, are exaggerated down the streets. There’s no better reservoir for writing and blogging, for art work and creativity.
  • Shapes and colors. Don’t underestimate this one because seeing new things can shape up your thinking pattern and hence you blogging.

Surely, it all depends on the street you are in. Some streets can be dangerous, depressive or even ugly and dirty. In all cases, leaving the desk and the computer, taking a long walk among people can help you boost your inspiration.

Scratching on paper or… typing on keyboard?

#philosophy #books #writing #blogwriting #writers

Although being a technology lover, in writing I love Paper! Call me old fashioned, there is no comparison hold between writing on paper and typing on computer. They are two different writing experiences to me and I am trying to figure out why.

There is somehow a connection between the writing hand, the reading eyes, the hearing ears of the scratching pen, the touching hand of the paper, all this and the brain, emotions, sensitivity. Strange enough I can’t feel it this way when I am typing just like I am doing now. By the way, I am thinking about the whole process right now as I am typing.

Somehow I am more rational on my PC, whereas I am more creative pen writing words, scratching curved letters and adjusting my handwriting, although nobody would read it but me. I think in comparison to the conventional writing method (I just hated myself now saying this) that computers, just like any machine is cold. It is an impersonal way of writing or drawing or making music or any activity of this sort. This doesn’t mean that there are no creative artists out there who do it all through computers and softwares but I am just talking about the process. The intimacy is lost with the computer. Although being just a tool, computers turned us into bureaucrats in a way. Staring at a screen, unsmellable, untouchable in its core, no dancing hand in shaping letters.

What goes for writing, goes for reading. Reading a paper version book is not the same as reading it on a tablet. Very practical indeed but lifeless. Somehow again, we lost our memory because of smart tablets, that outsmart us actually. I remember back in the old days, when we use to write down phone numbers or manually save them on our phones, I used to memorize them. Same for books. Feeling guilty about trees in spite of what I said and about to say: I buy books, I buy notebooks, I use pens and pencils and I can’t function otherwise. Do you feel the same about this duality of the writing/reading experience? Or am I losing my mind? Would love to hear from you 👇