Don’t write. Don’t take your thoughts and place them on paper. Don’t use words to make a thin mesh of reality in yours and someone else’s mind. Don’t imagine. Don’t be taken away on a joke of marvellous thought. Don’t play. Don’t practice. Don’t sing on the page. Don’t dance your hand across it holding a pen. Just don’t.
This time I want you to write about something but only using negatives. Exploring what something isn’t, wasn’t, won’t or will never be is a fun way of tricking yourself into seeing it differently. A teapot isn’t a lamp post. But what if it was?
In Philosophy this is generally called Via Negativa (the negative route), a way of grasping a concept [usually GOD] by saying everything it ISN’T. I know this is a huge simplification so please do not contact me wishing to get into a philosophical debate about the use of via Negativa in theological debate, my degree in Philosophy means I am absolutely sick of debating. I now believe wholly that there are no absolutes.
Start all your sentences with a negative statement and see where it gets you (you won’t be surprised):
I am not ….
Is it not ….
She isn’t ….
We won’t ….
We shan’t ….
They wouldn’t ….
Don’t send me your best via negativa writing. My email address isn’t Edward.LongMA@gmail.com. Don’t give me an update on your writing. I’m not at all interested. Just DON’T!