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Why Do We Write

Dec 18, 2007
Writing has been around for thousands of years. The Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians and Egyptians all wrote. One of the earliest forms of writing was cuniform, a pictographic writing system used by many languages over several empires in ancient Mesopotamia and Persia.

Storage of thoughts and ideas

Because man has the unique ability to create thoughts and ideas, we need to store them some place. If we store them in our mind, we tend to lose them. There are so many thoughts and ideas created by each of us on a daily basis, that writing them down is the only way to preserve them.

Which Ideas are Important?

I am not sure that most of our thoughts and ideas are all that important, but some certainly are. And some can change lives and the entire world that we live in. For example, Einstein's Theory of Relativity and Edison's light bulb both changed the world. These were both concepts that developed out of ideas that were written down.

Given the number of thoughts and ideas that we each have, how do we know which are the important ones?

The Connectivity of Thoughts

One thought leads to another in an endless chain in our minds. Edison had many failures before creating the electric light bulb. As he analyzed each failure new thoughts and ideas popped into his head. He wrote many of these down as he continued to experiment. Were these failures wasted? No! They were necessary to give him the new ideas to keep experimenting. He would change one thing as a result of his observations, which triggered new thoughts.

Since our mind continually provides us with a chain of ideas and thoughts, is one more important than another? Regardless if the thought can be put into practice or not, new thoughts are created. This connectivity of thoughts and ideas is the creative process. These thoughts are the link between the known and the unknown. In the case of Edison, it is possible that without one of the thoughts in his chain, we might be without the electric light bulb in our world.

Ways to Store Thoughts and Ideas

Books, ebooks, journals, magazine articles, newspapers and the internet are all ways that we record, store and convey our thoughts and ideas. There are literally
millions of pages of printed information produced each day on the planet Earth.

This reflects an incredible number of thoughts and ideas created by each of us on a daily basis. With over six billion unique people on the Earth today, this is not hard to imagine.

How many of these thoughts and ideas are brand new, never before thought of by anyone concepts? I suspect that very few are truly new, however that does not make them any less important or significant. Many discoveries result from an old idea or thought being looked at in a different way.

For example, Archimedes, the Greek mathematician, engineer and philosopher, discovered the principle of buoyancy and density, known as Archimedes Principle while sitting in the bath tub. Does this mean that nobody had taken a bath before this time? No, Archimedes just looked at the problem of water displacement from a different point of view. The principle of buoyancy is critical to boats and airplanes.

We are all unique beings and bring our own experiences, approaches and emotions to any idea or thought that we encounter. One single change to a thought or idea written by someone else might produce the next revolution in technology, energy or medicine. Just because a thought or idea is not unique to the world does not make it any less valuable.

It is said that;
"We read to be influenced by others and we write to influence others."

I would add that we write to make our thoughts and ideas available to others. They are stored for anyone who wants access to them. As a friend noted:
"We write to communicate with others."

We also read to increase our intake of thoughts and ideas. The ideas that we take in increases the amount of ideas and thoughts that we create.

Even re-reading our ideas from the past can stimulate new thoughts and ideas. Because of new experiences and ideas between the time our thoughts and ideas were originally written down and the present, we think about past ideas in a very different way. This is what journaling can do for us.

Journaling is one way of recording your thoughts and ideas on a regular basis. Typically, journaling is done in a fancy notebook, called a journal. I encourage everyone to journal as a way of expanding your mind and recording an idea that might just be the next one in the chain of a major breakthrough for the world.
About the Author
H. Court Young is a writer, author, publisher and a geologist interested in writing, mining, water solar, and terrorism issues. Promoting awareness through the written word.
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