ideas

Writing Issues N + ∞

They literally go to infinity, if not beyond. There’s an old saying (or at least I do believe it is one), trouble never comes alone. If this was true for something, it’s definitely for writing. Whenever you have an issue with any writing, know there are more issues behind the corner waiting to ambush you. Like the mythical Hydra creature with three heads which sprouted a new head (or by some legends two new heads) whenever you cut off one of its original heads, so can writing issues never really be weed out. Let’s go with a simple example.

Writing Issue N = Lack of Ideas

This is as basic as it gets, you’re literally sitting there with no ideas whatsoever. Still two issues in this path way — either you’re stuck in a loophole with this same issue, or you actually get ideas!

Writing Issue N +1 = Random Ideas

More like thoughts rather than full ideas, but definitely random. They can come to you at any time through the day, yet mostly unexpected. While you’re taking a shower, while you’re lying in bed trying to fall asleep, during a bus ride, etc. The issue here is what to do with them. Do you grab a note and write down the initial thoughts? Do you try to keep the thoughts forming so that you use the moment of creative outburst? Or do you simple ignore them in the hope that you’ll remember them later (this has never worked in my experience)?

Writing Issue N + 2 = Idea Shaping

Say you wrote down the initial thoughts. What do you do with them now? They’re just thoughts, not a full idea, so do you try to bend them into something you’re already writing or do you try to create a new idea around them?

Maybe you kept going with the thoughts until a full idea was formed. Now you get to decide whether you like it or not, meaning if you’re keeping it or not. If you decide to write it down and use it, you have formatting and editing to worry about. If you discard it, you’re back to the basics.

I sure hope you did not leave the idea with the hope it will come back you at a more suitable time, because the answer is it won’t. Ideas are like the dust the wind carries — they comes and go in the blink of an eye. Either you work with them in the moment or you write them down so you can later iron them out. There is no third option.

Writing Issue N + 3 = Editing, Adding, & Removing

An issue as big as the Pacific Ocean itself. Even after you envision your idea, capture your thoughts and shape them into something grandiose, you have literally only taken a single small step in what’s a marathon you need to run. Your race has not even began. You need to go to your work, read it again, fix your mistakes, add new mistakes, remove mistakes, add more mistakes, fix additional mistakes, and keeping doing that dance until your feet hurt. Is this okay? Should I remove this or just change the wording? Maybe I should add a sentence in-between? The questions are never-ending, and the actual process itself pretty much feels never-ending.

But, say you’ve accomplished this. You’ve finished the Neverending Story, and we’ll assume you’ve even published it. However, the issue of what now? still remains. Do you start a completely new piece of work? Do you try to write something related to your previous work? Or do you just wait for another one of those random ideas to drop out of nowhere? Back to basics. I would call it the Phoenix cycle. An idea is born, and sooner or later dies, on its own or at your hands, but eventually a new Phoenix rises from the ashes of the dead one. Never ending and always changing, these writing issues.

Edu[cat]ion

I’ve always loved the fact that the word ‘Education‘ has ‘cat‘ in the middle. Cats to me represent first and foremost curiosity and that’s what education should be about – curiosity. If a teacher does not make the class interesting enough to provoke curiosity or interest in the students, then that class is no good at all. Of course we all have these topics that our world revolves around, but if we’re showed the way, I think anyone can learn anything.

The problem with many education systems (I do not speak of them all as that would require more research than I have the time for) is that they often limit the students, especially in high school and university. Very often we are presented with just the choice of degree or general course we want to take, which automatically puts us in a list of pre-set classes. What is wrong with this? Lack of choice. Of course if someone chooses a degree they’ve already made their choice, but it is common for degrees to include classes that one can highly dislike. Or maybe the order in which the classes are taken will not suit the student. And while this helps the school run properly as they want, it is often very discouraging for said students.

They have no choice – if they’re already there then they are required to study it and pass it. But what knowledge would that studying bring to the individual if it’s forced on him/her? None. It will be forgotten shortly after the class is over. Unless the teacher makes it so appealing that the student takes interest in it and makes further researches, but then that studying won’t be forced and the knowledge will live and evolve in that individual later on.

Going back on the previous topic, if the students had the right to choose their own subjects from their degree’s area and set them up for taking as they prefer, would make it easier for them to pass them and get deeper knowledge of the material. Maybe having two maths or two languages in the same semester is hard for them – let them take it next term. You don’t have to organize a new class just for them, they can take it along with students from another year. What do years have on knowledge anyway? Not much, it’s the experience one acquires through life that matters the most. One could be only 15 years old but wiser than someone who is 30. Everything is relative.

There are many countries around the world who have a system of choice where students picks their own classes, and there is nothing wrong with it. Skipping, quitting, or even sleeping through classes can all be blamed on the fact that students don’t get to pick their classes or the teachers do not manage to grab the students’ attention. You can say that if one is interested in the class he will motivate himself to work in it, and you won’t be wrong, but sometimes people need additional motivation. A teacher’s job is not only to teach, but be psychologically adequate to work with other human beings. He or she needs to accommodate to the students’ needs, rather than just make his or her work easier.

It’s not very hard to make any topic fun or provide someone with more choices, if you just put a bit effort into it. And you will be surprised to see the results from it – the increased grades  and general effort shown will speak for themselves. Because you really can’t judge a shark and a dolphin on the amount of meat they eat when one was born to do so and you put up the other against its will. But if you let them race, now that would be a challenge to which they can both contribute. Just saying.