Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Demystifying the Light Bulb

The lightbulb turns on when you get an idea (think of the comic strip image of the lightbulb in a bubble over the character's head.). For me, this happens maybe 10 or 15 times during two and a half hours of writing. Sometimes, the flashes are banal: "move this paragraph from here to there." Sometimes they are slightly more interesting, and sometimes they are really wonderful ideas (in my humble opinion). So it is the act of writing is what makes the flashes possible. I might occasionally get an idea later in the day, when I am not writing, but most of the inspiration comes during the process itself.

So by not writing, you are also not doing as much thinking.


Gerald Early points out that "critical thinking" is a redundancy. If it is not critical, it should not be called thinking.


Clarissa said...

This is very true. I sat to down to write today knowing that I didn't have nearly enough to say about the novel I was going to discuss. In the process of actual writing, though, several new - and I think quite good - ideas just came to me.

The Blue Elephant said...

Your entry was written on my birthday, when I turned 75, and a week later the Golden Gate Bridge also turned 75. You will not find this amusing, but when I saw the title of this entry "Demystifying the Light Bulb," I thought you would actually explain the light bulb. I do not fail too terribly in dealing with computers or dealing with the angry males who think I am willful in my frequent ignorance about computers. I always argue that when I turn on a light bulb I do it without knowing how the electricity is wired, or how it feeds the light bulb -- are there still little fibers that burn in there? -- so I was actually hoping to read the Light Bulb Demystified. I guess I am joking. But my silly fantasy is that one should be able to turn on the computer and that it should be a useful tool, like a lightbulb, without my knowing everything that makes a computer work. A writer myself, I stumbled onto your blog when a friend in Merida in the Yucatan reacted to something I sent with "Cado loco con su tema," and you have attempted a translation, which I will compare with other translations although yours sounds fine.