Thursday, January 30, 2014

Writing and belief

As a writer, what do you believe in?

I believe in black ink, yellow legal pads, Castell 9000s, Mongols, Ticonderogas, wooden pencils in general, mechanical pencils in general, erasers in general, Pelikans, Safaris, Uni-ball Signos, the T-Ball Jotter, index cards, Post-it Notes, pocket notebooks (Field Notes, IBM Think pads, Moleskines), a larger notebook that my daughter gave me (Moleskine), PocketMods, nvALT, Simplenote, TextWrangler, WriteRoom.

But also: any available paper, any available Bic.

comments: 6

Elaine said...

Used envelopes.
A surprising acreage of clean space, recycling what would otherwise be trash...what's not to like?

Michael Leddy said...

You and Emily Dickinson, both. :)

JuliaR said...

As a philosopher, I would pick on the word "belief", which means "confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof" [dictionary dot com]. Therefore, as a writer I would say, I believe in walking outside for inspiration, or maybe, I believe that my first draft is always the best draft.

Michael Leddy said...

I was going for this application: “to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate). My belief in the goodness of these materials doesn't’t come with much rigorous proof either. :)

JuliaR said...

With the better definition, your choices make sense now. Not that they didn't before - I was just being annoying.

Let's see, "a firm conviction as to the goodness of X..." Alas, now we are into metaethics (which I am studying) and what is the definition of "good"? Is 'good' an objective thing, is it a quality or property, is it only relative as in "better than Y"? We are reading Kant's 3rd critique (aesthetics) for this tutorial. My head hurts. Interestingly, I find my thoughts often wander back to Pirsig and "Zen and the Art" which I have read three times, each time with a different goal. He ended up defining "quality" in the book as "the place where the subject meets the object" but then, that starts to make my head hurt too.

Michael Leddy said...

I think in these things, “good” means “works for me.” Or it means, as Wittgenstein might say, all kinds of things, many different elements of design and usefulness.