Whether you’re part of the working world or still a student, no sane person can argue that critical thinking, or at the very least the capability for individual thought, is not of vital importance. Beyer (1995) refers to critical thinking as making clear, reasoned judgements, and most definitions you find will be somewhat along these lines. Unless you’re pursuing an academic definition from a source such as The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking. Yes that’s a real thing, as I’ve discovered prior to writing this. Individual thought on the other hand can be seen as the ability to make up your own mind and reason for yourself, and not just follow the bandwagon. To many these skills are obvious necessities, but it never ceases to amuse me whenever I notice their clear absence in everyday life.
I’ve always had a deep love for rhyming. Ask anyone I’m close to and they’d confirm that when I’m in the mood I can go off on rhyming tangents that last minutes, often packed with silliness. When I was really small I used to write poems or little limericks for my parents on their birthdays. As I grew older I privately tried my hand at song writing and eventually poetry, some of which featured in one of my first — and currently shelved — books, Darklight, which is a supernatural story I plan on revisiting some day. It’s tricky to explain in words, which is funny to say as an actual writer, but there’s a creative purity, or unique flow, to poetry that truly can help unlock any closed gates in your mind when searching for some consistency in your art.
In life we know that letting go is one of the most difficult things you can do. As it is in reality, so too is that truth relevant in fiction. We become attached to other people or objects, whether real or not. We become invested in characters and stories we’ve followed for a long time. Sometimes that emotional investment clouds our perceptions, and other times it results in us not wanting a certain world to close or story to end, even when a conclusion is perhaps a necessity, or the overall quality of what we’re enjoying has certainly taken a nose dive. We are ultimately beings of intimate emotion and tangible feelings, striving for connection. But is there a point where this need for attachment becomes too much in the creative process? Is there a point where it begins to harm your narrative, and becomes a weakness? Or is it a writer’s strength in bringing their characters to life?
Writing, or any art for that matter, is an extremely personal thing, and by extension every creator has their own methods to their madness. Some people, like my brother for instance, require silence in order to write. Others enjoy the tranquillity of some nice scenery. There are those who perhaps need to talk to themselves as they perform their art. Often these methods can mix and match depending on the person and their mood, since there’s no right way to do it. I mean, some people study using mind maps and pretty pictures, and I for one can’t get on with that. There’s another method I personally use to inspire my writing when the piece in progress needs a little extra kick, and it’s to do with the power music has to inspire art.
I’m sure that in your years as a living, breathing human being on planet earth you’d have many a time heard sayings along the lines of “nobody can do it alone” and “everyone needs someone” and so forth. Typically though some people (like myself) can identify as lone wolves, stubbornly tackling problems solo because they believe themselves capable and are determined enough to learn and overcome challenges no matter what. However in matters of the arts that can only get you so far, and in reality you truly do need what other human beings call support if you are to thrive.