In my previous post, I introduced my new project - an experimental hypertext book-in-progress Me, Looking for Meaning. (I have added some links since then, but most of them still lead to empty pages.)
So what is the idea behind this project? What's the point of writing a nonsequential book?
I chose this format because my thinking - like all human thinking - is nonlinear. It happens through associations running between partially formed ideas and mental images. That's why we can get a random idea about something without fully comprehending how we got there.
It is true that to communicate with each other we often put our ideas in a linear form. (Often, but not always. Most of our communication is, actually, nonverbal.) Words are strings of letters. Sentences are strings of words. Books are strings of sentences. But think of your struggles to express your ideas. The challenge is practically inevitable in situations when we try to grasp and share with others our thoughts on complex issues. We all have been there: whether when we were working on a school/college essay or tried to explain to our partner how we feel about something they did.
Writers know this battle all too well. When I think about what I want to put on a page, ideas seem so beautifully intertwined. They lead to each other, they make sense. And then I try to translate them into words, connect words into sentences, etc... Ugh! What is going on?? The result is so far from what I have envisioned. So many things that I was going to say had to be left out because I simply don't know how to fit them all together. To be honest, first I thought that something is wrong with my ideas, with my writing skills - perhaps, even with me.
But there is nothing wrong. I am ok. Nonlinear thinking is fine. That is why I decided to embrace it and use it as a basis of my project.