The Faculty of Writing is a Faculty of Thinking

This portion of a passage from the U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History Blog that hearkens back to proceedings from 1919 definitely qualifies as a quote of the month:

The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, “I have an idea but I can’t express it”; that man hasn’t an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.

That passage got me to wondering how much that passes for “communication” these days is really just the vague feelings the author is referring to. An idea isn’t really an idea until it’s thought through, worked out, and clearly articulated. Amen.

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