Essays on Life’s VI: On Writing (and failing at it)

What is the true genesis of an idea? Is one”™s ideas always one”™s own or are they derivatives of another”™s work?

The Greek schools of philosophies believed that humans were just vessels in which the unmanifested put thoughts which then got processed as ideas. That is one of the reasons to explain the presence of angels in paintings and statues of saints, etc. It was the thoughts of these beings that humans channelized and presented as their own. Remember the famous story about the structure of Benzene that August Kekulé saw in his dreams?

I think, writing is the physical manifestation of unmanifested thoughts. It is the binding of the limitless into the constraints of language and grammar and social norms of decency or appropriateness. Thus, the brilliance of the original thought maybe lost or attenuated to say the least. 

The point is that just like programming, writing is a function of time and acquired skill (language, grammar, punctuations, sentence construction, etc). Application of consistent effort can help one make better chairs faster but may not necessarily make one a gifted carpenter. What you have described are the former, what I am struggling with is the later. The question to answer is what triggers the thoughts?

To give you an example, the three letters you wrote to me planted seeds in my mind which began germinating as I pondered over them while watching television, sitting in meetings listening to boring drivels, driving through insane traffic, and sometimes in the shower which I take regularly (a detail which I could have avoided but didn”™t just for the dramatic effect).

So, while the seeds germinated, it built up an entire thought network that gestated only to be delivered today morning. Now when I look back detachedly at the events of the day, there were no apparent triggers, yet I spent a good part of my day writing all this.

The question is that how I was able to structure one response amalgamating three disparate correspondences of different topics. And why is that I can”™t employ the same approach on the novel I am trying to write where only I own the story and the characters. Is it because when you have the power to do anything, you actually do nothing? That infinite power begets infinite inertia?

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