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How to turn what you read into something you can use

2 min read

If you read books on writing, you’ll get influenced by what their authors believe to be a good way to write or the way you should plan or organize your writing process.

If you read inspiring books, compelling works, books you love, and books that touch your heart or your mind with their inky hands, you’ll get influenced by their authors’ styles and ideas for sure.

If you do a long research about a topic you wanna write about, you’ll get influenced by the most convincing material you find, the ones you choose to read, and you might get a little biased.

There’s no way to avoid those things completely, but there’s a way to turn your influences into something you can use and so you can try to stay original.

Digest.

That’s the perfect analogy for me because when you digest what you eat, for instance, you change food in your stomach into substances that your body can use. You can mix everything but from all that disgusting bolus you extract the substances you need to live.

The same applies when you consume ideas and information, you change them into “substances” that your mind can use.

In another perspective, “to digest” means to read information and take the necessary time to understand it. It means that it takes as much time as needed for information to become good to use or for your mind to be able to use it.

Being aware of that is important to understand that you can’t speed up some processes. You have to, well, digest what you learn.

Finally, using the word as a noun means a short written report containing the most important parts of a longer piece, that’s the third part of I what I want to convey with this post today.

You should be able to condense and summarize that wordy bolus in a short version, or a digest, where you capture only the essential parts and put them down using your words.

So, how do you turn influences and research into something you can use? One of the ways is by digesting:

  1. Change it into useful substance
  2. Take time to take it in
  3. Extract what’s essential

By the way, during the whole process, remember The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry. “The essential is invisible to the eye.” Sometimes it’s not what’s written but what you felt with what you read or how you digested it all. That might be what you really wanna use.

Yea, but don’t follow that blindly. When you finish the process and extract the essential. Make it visible. Make it mindful. If you can’t see anything at the end, it’s worthless in this case.

I think.

Between the lines, what do you think?

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