“Just as a piece of land has to be prepared beforehand if it is to nourish the seed, so the mind of the pupil has to be prepared...”
I was on my front porch drinking coffee, vibing to the start of the weekend and reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg when I came across the above quote. The book was of great interest to me in regards to writing. I knew that I used habit to help me write. Not with the pen or at the keyboard. If you read this blog regularly you know if I believe if you start writing at that point it is already too late.
My example: When I was in the early stages of creating Tripio I was also taking a ninety minute drive three times a week. By this time I had already spent several years trying to understand my mind, how it works and why it was sometimes my worst enemy. I had hacked out a rudimentary understanding of the subconscious mind and would put it to work on these drives. If you don’t mind looking foolish for just a moment, raise your hand if you think that driving is an exercise is habit….OK, put your hand down.
I began to use the habit laden 90 minutes of highway driving to access my subconscious mind, to ask it to deliver the names and events I needed to populate Tripio. As I checked my speedometer, checked the rear and side view mirrors, sped up or slowed down, my subconscious mind delivered what I needed. From there all I had to do was remember what it had provided.
I learned from The Power of Habit that the habit formation and execution takes places in the basal ganglia. I was confirmed, validated. Even though I knew what was taking place, it was nice to know I can use the words “basal ganglia” to anyone I was talking to about my writing process. This bit of gratifying news came near the start of Habit. The above quote was near the end. The quote is from Aristotle, not me. Though I can understand if you are confused. Because, in the quote it sounds like Aristotle is describing the “Mind Garden”that I am going on about in many of my posts. I do not claim to have invented the concept behind “Mind Garden”. I am sure it has been used before. Again though, it validating that I can now refer to Aristotle when I am talking to anyone about how I write.
I believe writing starts before you pick up the pen or click on your laptop. I have seen, felt and came to know that clearing and preparing the mind and letting the actual writing come to you works for me. Don’t go looking for your writing, it isn’t out there. If that sounds a little weird but you can see some seed of wisdom, I’ll take it. However, if you find yourself thinking about the post, (miracles do happen) or even talking to someone else about it (I’m being serious) then you can say “Aristotle said that”, which will make you look smart. Which we all like. That, in turn, may lead you back to this blog in order to find more ways to make you look smart. I am not saying you need any help looking smart, but I hope that coming back to this blog becomes a habit anyway.
May I help who’s next?”Tags: Aristotle, blog posts, coffee, The Power of Habit, tripio, writing, Writing novels