Posted by: Shara | April 22, 2011

Extolling the Virtues of Nothing

I have often been told by professors and mentors that the fifteen minute brainstorming activity can be a great way to get over writers’ block or at least get the creative juices flowing.  Well, I don’t usually let others see my brainsplats before they have been revised, but I want to see what I can do with a five minute timer sitting on me, and how it turns out.  The topic?  David says…

“Nothing.”  Nice.  Go!

There was a young man whose paper I was editing, and he was extolling the virtues of drug use in overcoming emotional burdens and horrific memories that bog people down.  He argued that if smokers could smoke, alcoholics could drink, why can’t druggies use drugs?  The effect is the same.  I am arguing that the emotional replacement of drugs for negative feelings is fallacy, because he said that by erasing the bad memories people could feel happiness instead.  When there is emptiness, sheer lack of memory or emotion, and it has truly been erased, then there really is… nothing.  Happiness cannot replace empty space where nothing exists.  Nothing is exactly that.  Nothing.  While he might have been extolling the virtues to address his own behavior, I told him that the basis for which he argued needed more background study before being able to get off the ground.

And… time.  Ok, so a five minute interval is not enough.  Better to go for fifteen next time.  In the mean time, understand that as I was speaking with this young man, my personal views of life and morality had to take a back seat to the editing of the piece.  Why?  First, if I am to help edit people’s works, that has to happen on a literary basis only.  Secondly, people are more likely to listen to me if I can give them valid, logical viewpoints with which to address writing… and life itself.


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