I haven’t spent much time on Brainpickings because I was unsure about the “7 somethings to make you better at something else” type of posts that seem to characterize a lot of the content there. But after some good linking from Twitter, I took a look at a book review about the intentional practice of creativity, or what others have described as unusual connecting-making. I often feel like any writing that I do needs to be polished and professional, avoid strong opinions, and be generally palatable to whomever might read it. There are a few reasons I feel like this, not the least of which is the eighteen or so years I have spent in formal education of some kind. I do think it is important to communicate one’s ideas clearly, or at least make a good attempt at it, but I think that these three constraints have become excuses for me to hide behind in this format. How does discussion start if everyone agrees with what I say? Throttling my own opinions to make them more palatable also cuts into the authenticity of what I say – and what is this format supposed to promote but authenticity?
All that to say that I want to start practicing connection-making on a regular and intentional basis. Because writing is a great way to think through ideas, and writing with at least some audience in mind (hopefully) helps one to write clearly, I am going to ramp up my activity in this space.