Edward Morgan Forster is an English novelist who died as I was graduating as an English major at Dartmouth College in 1970.

Like many creative writers, E. M Forster traveled the world; and of his six novels (each of which was made into a film), it is A Passage to India, written in 1924, that was most popular.

He also wrote many short stories, plays, film scripts, essays, literary criticism, two biographies and even a libretto.  He was, to say the least, a prolific writer.

The secret of his productivity is probably the genius and tortured soul which drives so many great authors.  However, there is one quote from E. M. Forster that may be especially revealing.  He said:  “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”  He was a writer in order to be a better thinker.

I have neither genius nor a tortured soul; but what has driven me to write throughout my administrative career – and what has kept me blogging twice a week for three full years as of today – is that I cannot be sure what I know – or what I believe and will stand behind – until I can see it in writing and know that it will be read by others.  That’s when I begin to know what I really think.

Posted in: Perspective


Loren Vanportfleet
# Loren Vanportfleet
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:37 AM
That is sound advice. I think many of us (specially teachers and coaches) have write ideas down to solidify their thought processes. When people have come up to me with ideas, I ask them to write them down. That way I have an opportunity to digest their suggestions.
Hugh R. Matson
# Hugh R. Matson
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:27 AM
I have never read E. M. Forster, but that is really great advice. For example, how do we really know how we feel about the Penn State penalty unless we write down our thoughts to see what we believe, especially if others read our thoughts? So, keep on blogging Mr. Roberts, and if others don't like your thoughts, they can write down their thoughts for others to see.

We all should be writers in order to be better thinkers.

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