Write more, so that you can write more

I was inspired by a post titled "Write more, but shorter" (do read!) that says writing shorter brings clarity to thought, while keeping the content digestible. The article resonated with me a lot - but missed a key point. Writing more frees up your brain to be able to have new ideas. 

For a year now, I've had 10 ideas floating in my mind that I want to solidify. I've tried writing about them, but I would constantly struggle to draw analogies, make a convincing argument, make it read like a story, all while still getting the point across. I would then not publish them at all, leaving the thought lingering in my mind. These thoughts have rented my mindspace for a year now. (!)

This limits how much more I can think of, because my mind keeps coming back to the old thoughts I haven't completely thought through. Humans are idea machines that need an environment to allow for more ideas to flow in; I don't know where ideas come from, but what I do know is the more I write, the more ideas I get. Just as our short-term memory can only hold 4-7 things at once, we need to let go of older long-term thoughts to make space for new long-term ones.

So, the mere act of writing these ideas into a short, shareable blog - not just my journal where things don't have to make sense - will free up space in my mind, analogous to tick-marking off a to-do list, allowing more ideas to pop up.

In effect, I'll be writing so that I clear up my mind's current state, so that it can generate more ideas, so that I can write more.


A few weeks after I wrote this, I saw John Green's vlog (cue one of my all time favorite humans), describing exactly this. When asked "Where do you get your ideas from?", he says "I have no ideas how thought works. What I do know is if I try to hold on to my ideas, I never get new ones". 

I wish there was a way I could prove John Green and I thought the same thought around the time same time whilst living completely different lives.


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