Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Pascal on Writing

I frequently talk myself out of composing my thoughts for others to read by telling myself that others have already said or are currently saying what I'm thinking. Why reinvent the wheel? I know myself well enough to realize that this is in large part an excuse to avoid what for me is a grueling process of choosing the right words to express myself. But still, at some level, I consider it futile to try to convey the same thoughts that others have articulated so well.

Blaise Pascal is one of my favorite authors. The following words from his Pensees challenge my readiness to excuse myself and encourage me to add my voice to those of others who have sung or are singing the same song. If you share my reluctance, I hope you find them helpful too.

In what I am writing, let no one think I am saying anything new. It is only the arrangement of my material that may be new. For it is like a game of tennis, where we both play with the same ball, but one of us uses it to better advantage. So I would like it to be said that I am simply using well-worn words in a new framework. For when familiar thoughts are rearranged, they simply present a different way of communicating the truth. So too, we can use our words.


empressbarb said...

Thank you for the encouragement to think and then write. Timely word for me.
God bless you and please keep writing.

KP said...

Barb, I appreciate your letting me know that those words were encouraging to you. And thanks for your encouraging words in reply.

Kerry Doyal said...

Keith, press on in your writing ministry! Kerry

KP said...

Thanks for the urging, Kerry.