Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Researching, Writing and Learning

I am in the process of writing my second book.  I have written some chapters and I have outlined others.  I have found some sections extremely easy to write about and others I have struggled with.  There are parts that were touched on in my previous book and I don’t want to just have a reprint of those parts with perhaps the odd changed word or phrase, but I’m not sure how to restructure it without losing anything.  I have spent a lot of time up to the eyebrows in other people’s books.  Doing research, looking for validations for my opinions - something to back up a point I’m making or a slightly different way of looking at it that will enable me to make it clearer.  Even refutations of my opinions are welcomed.

It has been quite a learning process.  In my head, when I started to write this book, I knew all I needed to know.  I was sharing the wisdom I’ve accumulated over the years with those who have less experience.  I was arrogantly assuming that there was little to nothing of substance left for me to learn in this field.

I pored over several books and ancient texts.  I found what I wanted to find, I had a couple of small surprises and I didn’t find what I hadn’t really expected to find.  I remember my excitement (and smug self-satisfaction) when one scholarly work verified and validated a conclusion I’d drawn on my own.

Lately though, reading through the last couple of books and concepts I’ve come to a realisation.  That through this research and writing process I am actually learning more.  There are concepts that I’ve had a faint grasp on, a shallow intellectual understanding of that I now get at a far deeper level.  I’ve had my “aha!” moments, I have found my somethings to back up a point I’m making in a different way and different ways of looking at things that will enable me to make it clearer.  I just didn’t expect that the way they made these things clearer was for me to understand them better.  For the deeper meanings to sink in and make my surface knowledge something deeper and truer.

There are components of ritual that our group always did.  We always did them because our High Priestess had always done them in her previous group.  They were never explained to us with whys or deeper meanings and to be honest, I’m sure that if she’d known them they would have been explained as often and clearly as possible.  I could explain why we did them.  I could give you a perfectly reasonable understanding of the function and necessity of these things.  But it has been while reading the book I’m currently in the midst of that a better understanding of some of these components has occurred for me.  It’s also fascinating for me that even with my imperfect understanding, I still had made the choices to include or not these actions in various rituals I’ve led correct.

I saw a quote recently.  It says:

We Learn…

10% of what we read
20% of what we hear
30% of what we see
50% of what we see and hear
70% of what we discuss
80% of what we experience
95% of what we teach to others

- William Glasser

In writing a book, I’m teaching to others.  I’m learning more about these concepts that that I thought I understood.  I’m understanding them better by finding my own words to explain each concept.  In some ways, I feel almost as though I’m writing this book for me, not for anyone else.



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