The longer I stop writing for, the fewer ideas I have at the end of the break.

I’ve just noticed a fascinating relationship between writing and ideas. The more often you write, the more ideas you have about what to write next. The less often you write, the fewer ideas you have about what to write next.

In hindsight, this is probably a very obvious relationship but it has re-opened my eyes to the concept of the brain as a muscle. The more often you simply stop and think about a topic, the more likely you are to discover something new within it for yourself.

This is exactly the idea behind education I suppose (particularly Masters and PhDs). Diving into a topic for 2 or 5 or 10 years may make you extremely specialized in a particular area but it is exactly that specialization that makes you unique because you have had time to stop and think about the topic generally.

Thinking and doing are two very different activities. Simply performing a task day in, day out does not cause you to be an expert. However, performing a task day in, day out while thinking about why, what, how and when about it will make you an expert quickly. This is also the difference between ambition and ambivalence.