Friday, August 3, 2012


Write essays to make up your mind. 

An old saying goes: “How do I know what I think till I see what I say?”  That my seem silly, at first, and an excuse for merely blabbering, but my experience proves that rather than trying to ponder a subject in silent contemplation, figuring it out “in my head” abstractly, my thinking proceeds much more clearly and coherently when I speak or, even better, write. 

This way, sentences begin to emerge and connect to subsequent sentences, building into paragraphs, taking shape tangibly, available now for review and revision.  This way, a train of thought travels along a track, moving from station to station, paragraph by paragraph, toward a destination unlikely to be known until it’s reached. 

To essay means to try or to attempt.  To write an essay is to venture forth on a journey, eager to find out where your roving mind will take you and what unforeseen discoveries and revelations will emerge as you travel.

Grab a pad.  Pick up a pen.  Sit somewhere comfortable and quiet.  Listen for the inklings of a notion.  Then set your hand in motion to verbalize what’s flowing from your mind.  Begin.  Keep going.  And see where you arrive.