Children are naturally curious. Everything contains a sense of novelty. But as soon as the novelty wears off, the curiosity is satisfied and the child is off to investigate something else new.
When we become adults, we develop a sense of curiosity that is not based solely on novelty itself. Or at least, we should. It seems too many people just get caught up in the affairs of living that any sense of curiosity seems superfluous, even an indulgence.
Part of maturity is seen in education and learning. And so a full maturity has with it a mature sense of curiosity, as well. It’s not just interested in a thing’s novelty, but truly committed to the investigation of a thing. The greatest question we can ever ask is not What, but Why.
Curiosity In Learning
I once lived in a city that seemed to think that books gave you cooties. If I were ever seen reading a book, I was usually asked two question: “What are you reading?” followed by, “Why are you reading that?” It’s a common calamity to think that reading and learning, specifically if it doesn’t have to do with how to earn more money, is a waste of time.
I can recall once, while reading Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury, I also had opened on my desk Hawking’s A Brief History In Time and a book about non-Euclidean geometry written by some Italian whose name eludes me. The broader our knowledge base, the more expansive our understanding of the human condition. And with a stronger foundation in our knowledge of humanity, the greater wisdom we can possess in matters of pity, mercy, and compassion.
Curiosity In Writing
Not only does this mature sense of curiosity help make us become better human beings without contributing to an unwarranted arrogance, it particularly aids us as Creative Writers. Curiosity is not just learning new things but also trying new things, or even trying old things in new ways.
The better read we are, the better writers we are. That is a given. But the breadth that is achieved by applying our maturity is more than reading many things. We Writers try to develop our writing skills by trying new and different things. That is one of the values of random writing prompts and practice exercises. We should use these opportunities to try new ways of writing. This cannot but help make us better as a whole person, and definitely as a Creative Writer.
Curiosity is an active quality that directly affects all of our passions. As long as you are alive, it’s not too late. Read a book on a subject or by an author you would not normally consider. Work on developing a new skill, such as pottery or sketching. Write in a style or on a subject you have never tried. You will be better for it.
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