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Hat-tip to Holly Tse for organizing this interview!
Sacha Chua: Writing is a tool for thinking, because it slows things down enough for you to look at it. As I’m talking at my usual nervous speed here, things are flying by pretty fast, right? I’m not going to remember a lot of these things until I go back and I write things down and I think through, hey, what did I want to say here, or what else do I want to do… Thought and speech and life move by so quickly. If you slow things down enough to write just a little bit about it, then you have something more to work with. I didn’t know that when I was in school. I’m glad I learned that, and I want other people to discover just how useful that is, because life moves too fast, and it’s great to be able to slow this down.
Have you ever noticed that life also goes too slowly?
HT: It can, yeah.
SC: Especially when things are changing just a little bit at a time. So you’re looking at your son, for example, and he’s changing. He’s in the early years, so he’s changing a lot, every month, but you’ll get to the point where today is kinda like yesterday, and the next day is kinda like today, and the day after that is kinda like the day before it. All these little changes are harder to see, but if you’re writing, you’ve got that record – even if you’re writing once a week about what you’re seeing and what you’re observing – then you can look back and say, “Oh yeah, a year ago, you were still learning how to speak.” “Oh yeah, five years ago you were still learning the multiplication table.” “Look at how far you’ve come.” Imagine how much he’s learned since then!
Life goes too fast, but it also goes too slow, and so writing becomes your way to get it to work at the pace at the pace that you can work with.