Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Asking Questions... more important than giving or getting answers.

I admit it. I drive the people around me crazy. Like an annoying parrot that only has a one-word vocabulary, I keep asking: "why?"




I've got 23 windows open in my browser right now. Some have been open for weeks. They range from a German philosophy author's quotes, to character type breakdowns, to author success stories, stereoscopic lenses (3d), to posts about questioning what we have, what we want, what we're afraid of, and what we're afraid of wanting. I've even got comics.

Lately, I've been ruminating on a variety of thoughts, a variety of "whys", for both my writing and personal life.

It would be accurate to say I've been remiss about keeping in contact.

Because you all know I suck at multitasking, right?

...and right now my head is so full of "whys" that I don't want to take in a single new thing that will inevitably bring with it another "why" to add to the pack.

Writing is about asking questions and then putting down words until I get to the answers.

The "why" is why I write, but it's a bad state to live in, because anyone who has studied philosophy knows that, with enough persistence, you can unravel whatever you're examining until the point where it ceases to exist.

"Why" can build bridges between people, between characters, between opposing points of view. It's the basis of understanding, but when taken too far, it becomes hungry, it becomes greedy, it becomes destructive.

And I'm afraid of that.

But I do know that asking the question is more important than getting an answer, because few things in life even have a right/wrong 2+2=4 certainly.

No matter how busy you are, how active, how successful, if you don't occasionally take a step back and reflect, you'll simply get caught in an eternal rut of doing things the way you've always done.

Sometimes, you have to stop. Sometimes you have to close your eyes. Sometimes you have to breathe.

And sometimes you need to ask questions that you know don't actually have cut 'n dry answers, because by asking the questions, you're examining things you may have simply taken for granted as being true/untrue, and by reexamining them, their relevance may change.

Or maybe I've been holding my breath too long and my brain is starved for oxygen ;)

Really, I've been thinking way too much about Hans-Georg Gadamer and his hermeneutical horizons theory, and I won't bore you with a breakdown of it. Those that are truly interested can use the magic of Google to look at it further, but I will say this: the theory could be considered my primary *tool* when writing, because it's all about getting into a character's head and realizing their perspective, their prejudices their 'horizon', when compared to the characters around them.

I honestly don't think I'm ever going to be able to stop asking "Why", but I do need to find a way to snap myself out of this state of reflection/pause and get back to doing.

And now I'm going to watch the BBC documentary series "Kill it Cut it Use it".


  1. Try writing some speculative fiction. Don't ask "Why?" Ask "What if?" What if Mars was suddenly occupied by hostile aliens? What if trees could talk? While there is certainly philosophy in some speculative fiction, most has it in very small portions (unless you're talking to an English professor who likes to pare things out of writing that were never intended by the writer, but I digress). Just have some fun.

    1. For me, characters drive plot, so asking "what if?" doesn't necessarily help me.

      And I do write speculative :)

      Writing is fun, and so is asking "why" ;)

  2. Steal the idea rummaging in my head that I don't want to look at and do a story on the personhood of animals, which is definitely more 'what if?' in nature? :) .... I keep getting bogged down in whys and philosophical hooyeah [this is now an official term] when considering it in any depth for a setting. It might work better as a pure comedic take on it, I suspect....

    1. Ohh! I'm so happy to hear 'hooyeah' is now an official term!

      ...I suppose it's better than 'sporaculous' and some of the other choice words that are in my vocabulary, but do not currently exist in any human-known language :p

      Well, after growing up with the Pippi Longstocking books, I feel it's perfectly okay to make up words ;) In fact, I encourage it :)

      ...but I think I'll pass on the talking/personhood of animals :p I'm sure you can work it into one of your stories at some point.

  3. I recently parroted you back to a friend - ask why!

    1. Why? Why? Why?


      ...don't you just want to slap me sometimes? ;)


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)