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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Thoughts about writing, writing about thoughts

Vieraskieliset / In-english
23.5.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

8.4. 12:20
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Text: Ma­ti­as Lah­ti

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

”I do not know what I think be­fo­re I write about it.” This is what the wri­ter Joan Di­di­on is re­por­ted to have said. I think I un­ders­tand well what she me­ans. While re­a­ding ex­pands our men­tal world, wri­ting helps to or­ga­ni­ze its con­tent. In­comp­le­te thoughts have their va­lue, but the need to put them in­to wri­ting is un­comp­ro­mi­sing: what exact­ly do you think, and what pre­ci­se­ly is yo­ur opi­ni­on? What can be said cle­ar­ly has been thought cle­ar­ly.

Many pe­op­le find wri­ting dif­fi­cult. One of the main re­a­sons is pro­bab­ly the dif­fi­cul­ty to ver­ba­li­ze one’s thoughts as pre­ci­se sen­ten­ces and co­he­rent text. Men­tal con­tent is mul­ti­di­men­si­o­nal, and the way most of us ex­pe­rien­ce the world is non-ver­bal.

Our thoughts are not comp­le­te sen­ten­ces but un­con­nec­ted words, imp­res­si­ons, ob­ser­va­ti­ons, fee­lings and frag­men­ta­ry ide­as. The abi­li­ty to or­ga­ni­ze this con­tent in­to co­he­rent text re­qui­res work and prac­ti­ce. That work pays off: an abi­li­ty to exp­ress one­self ver­bal­ly fa­ci­li­ta­tes in­te­rac­ti­on and helps one to deal with dif­fi­cult mat­ters. Ver­bal in­com­pe­ten­ce, on the ot­her hand, ma­kes it hard for pe­op­le to un­ders­tand each ot­her and of­ten le­a­ves dif­fi­cult mat­ters un­sol­ved.

It is ex­hi­la­ra­ting to meet so­me­o­ne whose oral or writ­ten pre­sen­ta­ti­on is crys­tal clear. At some point in my life, I met a per­son whose exp­res­si­on was ex­cep­ti­o­nal­ly in­sight­ful, rich and pre­ci­se. I was daz­z­led and be­gan to strive to­ward si­mi­lar com­pe­ten­ce my­self. I re­a­li­zed that ver­sa­ti­le vo­ca­bu­la­ry not on­ly ma­kes for pre­ci­se exp­res­si­on but al­so ser­ves as a sti­mu­lus: a few un­con­ven­ti­o­nal but ap­po­si­te words may punc­tu­re a hole in the mind that al­lows us to see furt­her. The hole al­so lets in fresh oxy­gen.

My his­to­ry as a pub­lic wri­ter is short. I have writ­ten a lot, but most­ly eit­her work-re­la­ted fac­tu­al texts or com­ments to a dis­cus­si­on in a small circ­le. Alt­hough self-exp­res­si­on through art is na­tu­ral to me, I have ne­ver se­ri­ous­ly con­si­de­red writ­ten lan­gu­a­ge as a tool of exp­res­si­on. I have writ­ten a few po­ems, but they re­main bu­ried in my desk dra­wer.

Blog­ging as a text type is new to me. It seems es­pe­ci­al­ly chal­len­ging be­cau­se of the need to find a ba­lan­ce bet­ween the pub­lic and the pri­va­te. A blog post should not be a lec­tu­re, nor should it be the kind of emo­ti­o­nal out­pou­ring we might write in a di­a­ry.

I have spent my yo­uth and ear­ly adult­hood on many dif­fe­rent things. I have had a va­rie­ty of jobs, I have read and stu­died, spent time with my fa­mi­ly, dis­cus­sed and pon­de­red. Af­ter the ye­ars of yo­uth­ful un­cer­tain­ty and dif­fi­den­ce, I be­gan to const­ruct my world view and phi­lo­sop­hy of life. Ma­y­be now is a good time to ver­ba­li­ze some of these thought pro­ces­ses and to share them with ot­hers for re-pro­ces­sing. My in­ten­ti­on is not to say how things are, but rat­her to sug­gest some ap­p­ro­ac­hes and pos­sib­le ways to think as well as to of­fer sti­mu­la­ti­on to ot­her pe­op­le’s thin­king. Let eve­ry­bo­dy cre­a­te their own re­a­li­ty – and write about it.

4.7.2022

Käänny puoleeni; Herra, ja ole minulle armollinen, sillä minä olen yksin ja avuton. Ps. 25:16

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