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Life Arts

English and Politics

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ethan Indigo Smith     Permalink
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A blank page raises the question, "Where to start?" Pages with scribbles, notes and nonsensical text raise a different question, "Where to stop?" Blank pages are an embarkation to places no one has ever been before and perhaps the only way to get there. People, writers included, face complications and clutter that must be cleared to properly proceed with manual action or manual writing.

When editing pages it is more important to ask of the stopping point, "Where is this going?" With that in mind, editing the clutter is easy. Being that there are no blank pages in life and that we are all subject to the results of history's scribbles and undone notes, perhaps it is always best to ask ourselves, "Where is this going?"

Just as writers remove run on sentences and turn fragmented thoughts into clear communication, people might be more successful stopping and removing continued failings and clutter in their surroundings instead of simply continuing. If one does not stop before starting, one might continue writing unintelligible notions without focus, performing futile or even destructive actions.

The clutter and complications in reality normally result from the writings or buildings of past authors, or authorities in attempts to manipulate conditions around them. These attempts at change often result in uneasy situations, having been incompletely thought out.

Stopping and starting anew is the natural and logical process by which people live daily. We all have to stop and rest everyday and then start again the next day. One can't start something new without first stopping, there are no blank pages in reality. One can't improve on the ideas and structures of the past without sometimes editing or removing past ideas and formations in their entirety. Writing is rewriting, and rewriting is editing.

In order to effectively grapple bad ideas, in order to properly edit poorly written and improper presentations of any sort, one must begin by deciding what to eliminate. In life, it is always more effective to understand first what to stop and then what to start.

Elimination of nonsensical gibberish encountered in rewriting and living is of the utmost importance, but before erasure, decisions of deletion must be made. Contemplation of which nouns, verbs and poor words are worthy of being kept and which are worthy of being destroyed is no trivial matter.

In writing, certain rules must be applied, as in living. Not the written, changeable rules written by some prior authority, but the universal laws and instructions. Rules of grammar and rules of manner are only written by authorities, universal laws are far different. Language and life have certain elements which contain many of the same formations. Sometimes prior authors and authorities leave so much clutter that the entirety must be tossed and sometimes those prior leave sacred identifiable buildings.

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George Orwell is an example of a writer who tackled blank pages leaving many valuable nuggets and notes for the future. He presented six rules to consider as a way to better one's writing. All are at once acceptable as sensible, for the rules are applicable not only to pages, but also in life.

Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

Never use a long word where a short one will do.

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

Never use the passive where you can use the active.

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Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

Despite the intimidating circumstances of a blank page to writers, in life it is mostly a craved condition and regrettably, unattainable. Despite a blank page, clear slate and fresh start often being craved and sought after in life, perhaps like writing it would be a more difficult starting point. Perhaps wishing for a blank page is just greener grass across a divide. In life there never is a blank page and perhaps it is just as well that way, for every beginning is daunting in writing.

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About Ethan Indigo Smith:


Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan's work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot's Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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