How do you want to express yourself?
Writing Style: Essays or Aphorisms!
Documenting a philosophical observation does not have to be time consuming, difficult... or even overly brilliant! Write what's on your mind and write just enough to make the point. Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was an advocate of the aphorism: a
Nietzsche's aphoristic writing style (Courtesy of Google Books)
full, rounded idea contained in a short, concise, statement. Beginning writers think that complicated writing is good writing. Actually, straightforward writing is good writing.
Here are some of the things Nietzsche had to say for the aphorism:
“In the mountains, the shortest way is from peak to
peak: but for that, you need long legs. Aphorisms
should be peaks: and those to whom they are
spoken, big and tall.”
“The aphorism in which I am the first master [...]
are the forms of "eternity"; my ambition is to say
in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book
--what everyone else does not say in a book.”
“He who writes in blood and aphorisms does not
want to be read, he wants to be learned by heart.”
Most of Nietzsche's writings are aphoristic (see example, left). Each section starts with a title that identifies the topic of that section; sections and grouped together my the wider subject. A great way to organize a philosophical journal!
Thus Spake You recommends the format so much, it's named after Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathrustra! Here, the title character, Zarathrustra, makes aggrandized philosophical proclamations--the style is somewhat satirical, yet the book contains serious philosophy, written in the aphoristic style.
Of course, after documenting an idea, you can continue to come back to it, revising and editing, expanding on the original idea... this is how you journal develops into a larger work of art! Just remember: write enough to say what you want to say, and no more!