Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Still More Conversation About “What Should I Write?” . . .


This Blog Conversation began on June 13th; and, continued on June 18th and June 20th… What should I write

If you check out those posts, you’ll see us moving from the Muse through Meditation into Spontaneous Ideas

And, the post on the 20th had four links to other folks’ considerations of “What Should I Write?”.

Our discussion is continuing today because a writer from the U.K. left this comment on the last post in the series:

“I don’t believe in a muse. All my writing is triggered by a place, an incident, an injustice, a person , a memory or a feeling. I’d need a cartload of different muses for all that!”

That comment is quite similar to one of the other comments in our conversation:

“My best ideas don’t come when I sit down to write, rather at spontaneous and sometimes inopportune moments. Hence, I have a notebook in every room, my car, and my purse. :-) “

I don’t know if the Muse delivers the ideas in that last comment; or, if there’s a well-hidden Muse involved in the process of the U.K. writer…

When I access the etymology of Muse, I find these indicators about the word’s history of meaning:

…from Old French Muse and directly from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa, “the Muse,” also “music, song,” from PIE root *men- (1) “to think“.

And, when I go back to the post that began this conversation, I find this quote:

“‘A muse?’ you ask. ‘You mean some kind of invisible spirit that dumps creative inspiration into my mind?’

“’Exactly,’ I answer. ‘A genius. A daimon. An independent force in your psyche that directs your creativity, and to which you deliberately hand over ultimate responsibility for your work.’”

My dictionary says “genius” can mean “the prevailing character or spirit of something” and that “daimon” means “an inner or attendant spirit or inspiring force”…

Naturally, every writer must define the source of their inspirations to write in the way that best helps them obtain those inspirations…

Yet, personally, I’d recommend writers inventory their minds on a somewhat regular basis, even the levels of mind they rarely think about; and, possibly, consider areas of cognition they’ve never consciously explored—all in the effort to maximize the odds that they’ll receive the Very Best Ideas of What to Write

That last paragraph calls on writers to engage in what could be called Meta-Activities—activities that call on the mind’s ability to “turn itself inside-out” or “create variations of itself” or “look at itself in its own mirror”…

Here’s a quote from a learning site:

“Metacognition, or thinking about one’s thinking, is key to facilitating lasting learning experiences and developing lifelong learners.”

I shared that quote because it seems, to me, very important for writers to be continually learning; or, their idea-pool may dry up… { and, to me, reading good fiction is also a learning experience… }

And, considering metacognition as an educational tool, there’s this quote from a different learning site:

“Metacognition is an awareness of one’s own learning. It entails understanding the goals of the learning process, figuring out the best strategies for learning, and assessing whether the learning goals are being met. A metacognitive student sees him or herself as an agent in the learning process and realizes that learning is an active, strategic activity.”

And, another quote from that site:

Metacognition can include any of the following elements:
* Understanding what one already knows about a topic
* Figuring out what one wants to know about a topic
* Realizing what one has learned in the course of a lesson
* Monitoring one’s understanding during the course of an activity
* Choosing which learning strategies to employ and when
* Evaluating whether a particular learning strategy was successful in a given circumstance

And, if I only focus on the last element in that quote and consider the words “learning strategy“, I must admit that it evokes what I’ve gone through in all my writing projects; plus, every writing project has demanded a somewhat different learning strategy…

Here’s a question that may, hopefully, spur a reader to contribute a comment to this conversation:

Are learning strategies and metacognition and spontaneous ideas and meditation and communing with a Muse all part of the fabric of the landscape of our writing journeys…?

It only takes one comment to continue this discussion; or, to suggest another topic in the realms of Reading, Writing, or Publishing. :-)
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If you don’t see a way to comment, try the link at the upper right of this post…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
OR >>> Send Me a short Voice Message

One response to “Still More Conversation About “What Should I Write?” . . .

  1. Pingback: Blog Conversation about Choosing What to Read . . . | Notes from An Alien

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