Often, I sit down to write and I think – I will write about this one topic or word or experience. And then by the time I am done, I’ve woven in a bunch of other stories or ideas and landed on a conclusion about a totally different topic.
This wandering is quite frowned upon in academic settings where most of us learned how to “write.” I put write in quotes because so many would-be writers have been discouraged from writing by rule-ridden academic writing. There is certainly merit to claiming a thesis, structuring an argument and offer supporting statements; however, the rigidity of it dismisses how individuals actually think.
We all think differently. Some people may very much follow this structure of Point A and 3 subpoints followed by Point B and 3 subpoints. I know for me, it took a long time to understand what a thesis was for a book analysis, and I remember how proud I was to finally get what all the parts were and how they fit together.
My true writing style is what is on my blog. It is a slightly filtered free-for-all as I let my thoughts loose each time I put fingers to keyboard.
There are few arenas where we can freely allow one thought to float to the next, and for me, writing is absolutely the one I feel safest in doing that. Unfortunately, many writers carry those academic guidelines and standards as their North Star. The content does not go beyond one note, and the writer doesn’t get a chance to explore and express.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean we create writing that dribbles from one topic to another without coherence or conclusion.
What it does mean is that we need to allow ourselves to explore when we write. It is an opportunity we give ourselves to make those otherwise invisible connections. It brings coherence to our brains and beings. So please write and let your thoughts wander.
I write everyday because it allows me to voice what is at the surface. Once that is out of my head, I can dig in another layer deeper. My daily writing practice has been my greatest exploration of self and humanity. Sign up here to receive these thought nuggets in your inbox on the daily.