“Deliberation (consilium) is a certain sort of inquiry that proceeds from certain things to other things; this is the work of reason.”
– ST II-II Q49 A5
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Welcome back to the 5th episode of Creative Writing Tips! I am your host Jason Youngman. Today’s show is going to be rather theoretical in nature; nevertheless, it’s a necessary step in the evolution of becoming a great writer.
How do you balance yourself between activities that demand your time, focus and energy? It is not uncommon for change, new pressing needs, to come along and take you off course. So you find yourself in a situation where you need to re-evaluate and re-assess your priorities. Perhaps you have been smooth sailing for so long that you have forgotten how to manoeuvre through rough seas.
To deal with such obstacles it’s often a good idea to get back to the basics. By basics I mean your base for reasoning or trouble shooting. My base or foundation for thinking is composed of 4 elements, namely: Intention, deliberation, decision & execution. This logical sequence is often applied when considering a significant change in life. Allow me to run you through this 4 step process in view to removing obstacles or impediments from our path.
1. Intention is a tending towards some actual thing. It is not a wish, but is more like an aiming of an action towards some purpose, some end.
2. Deliberation can be rendered as a careful consideration of the course of action intended.
3. Decision is your conclusion or resolution. It confirms the way you are to proceed once you have thoroughly considered the reasons behind your intention.
4. Execution is the action or the carrying out of what you intend or plan to put into effect.
To demonstrate this process let us say you want to be a writer. But does this ‘wanting’, in and of itself, justify the cause? Of course not. So what do you have to do to assert yourself; i.e. tend towards a particular action? We must consider if this a wise course of action and whether or not it is within our power to achieve the desired goal. So you must deliberate to determine if becoming a writer is within your control, and by what means is best to attain your objective. Once we have fully examined the matter we will arrive at some kind of conclusion, which will largely determine how best to proceed, so naturally a decision will follow from this juncture. Assuming you got the goods, the potential and the means, including the fortune or environment by which to thrive, then the next stage entails putting your money where your mouth is. In other words you put into action what you intend to do.
If only we could put our life in order as easy as that. Now that would be something to marvel at. So what would you do if you had to clean the dishes after a large dinner party? You start by scrapping and rinsing off the leftovers from the plates. In other words we begin by creating space for ourselves to do the work.
The same principle applies here. We start by carving out some time to seriously think things through to the end. Ideas will continue to float around in our head like clouds unless we get down and touch the ground in order to make them sound. In other words, if we are serious about creative writing then we have to make our wishes real; i.e. ground them in reality. Therefore ‘intention, deliberation, decision and execution’ is a practical way to pin down our wishes so as to make them real.
To conclude allow me to summarize the soul of this lesson. The greatest obstacle that we are likely to face when it comes to writing, or pursuing any significant goal for that matter, may not be something exterior and outside of our control, but may very well be our self, our lack of in-depth thinking. In the next episode it may be a good idea to discuss further impediments to the process of writing, such as cognitive distortions or thinking errors. Until next time, this is Jason Youngman, your host of Creative Writing Tips.