The more I teach, write, research, and learn, the more I come to understand about myself during these processes. And what I’ve come to understand is that I’m not interested in answers as I am in questions. Sure, answers come into it, eventually, but that’s not what drives me. I’m not content to simply be told an answer or even to find an answer.
It’s not enough to know that the sky is blue because of the absorption properties of the atmosphere. I want to know more. How do wavelengths of light work? Why are plants green? Why is chlorophyll green instead of red? Or yellow? Or blue?
I want to ask the deeper questions. I want to keep going until I can’t come up with any more questions. Complex questions are made up of simpler questions (of course the most complex questions are deceptively simple to ask e.g.: why are we here?). So by breaking down the complex questions into simpler questions, and breaking down those even further, it becomes easier to understand concepts. And when the questions are broken down to the point where there are no more questions, when answers must be given, that when I find I truly understand.
I bring this up because well, I’m going to try it in teaching, but also in my own writing. Brainstorming usually revolves around coming up with ideas, of coming up with topics or points or what will happen next. But I think I’m going to try to come up with brainstorms that are nothing but questions, leading to deeper and deeper questions until I have no choice but to come up with some answers, which will hopefully lead to some well-developed stories.