Does documenting thoughts change their course? – A Thought(s) Experiment

This is going to be an absolutely random piece. I’m just going to write whatever pops up into my mind, as I type away. The post could progress into a rant, or it could develop into something profound – I really have no idea which direction the post would go.

Well, this could be one way of documenting what all goes on in my mind. I have a doubt, though. It would be practically impossible to record every thought that goes on inside. So, would writing down my thoughts change the thought process itself? Would I think in a different way if I were not noting down my thoughts on paper? I know this could be a bit difficult to explain. Allow me to give you an example and open the door to what I’m thinking right now.

Let us consider a simple situation where my mind starts thinking Thought-A. I start noting it down as soon as it starts. Keep in mind that the mind is a beast with no reins. Before I have finished writing, the mind has transited through Thoughts – B, C and D. By the time, I am done documenting Thought – A, my mind is on Thought – E. So then, I write about Thought – E, skipping a few steps.

Now, my mind would start a new trajectory of thought starting from Thought – E, which would probably move in a different direction than the one that started from Thought – A. (Is all of this becoming a bit too convoluted?) But, if I hadn’t spent time writing, I would probably have resided on Thought-B a bit longer, and then, drift into a different direction from there. This means that if I wasn’t writing, I may never have reached to Thought – E, which brings me to my question – Am I actually documenting my thoughts, or am I polluting the natural progress of my thoughts by attempting to document them, and thus, passing off something altogether different as that what goes on inside my mind?

I need to break off from this thought process right away, before it turns into something that bores the shit out of you. I apologise for the language my mind chooses to use when it is in documentation mode. On a slightly related note, would it be really possible for a person to record his own thoughts, ever? A few ideas that I can quickly conjure up to tackle the practical problems are the use of shorthand & mind maps, audio recording your thoughts etc. The basic question still stays though, and I don’t think a definitive answer can be given to it, i.e. will documenting one’s own thoughts change the progression of thoughts itself? How sure can one be that he is not manipulating his thoughts by documenting what seems to be a part of what he is actually thinking?

I should maybe stop writing here. I also need to think of a title for this post now. If you have read up to here, I can safely assume that your weekly quota of wading through nonsense is now over. If you feel the whole idea of this post was something that you would love to think over, then you can thank me by sending me a box of cookies, or by offering to write my research paper for me. However, if you thought there was something meaningful coming out of the whole thing, you probably now have learnt a lesson on how to deal with disappointment. So, in effect, you are either leaving with a strange thought or a much needed life lesson! So, this post should do some good to humanity.

I’ll shut up now, seriously.



10 thoughts on “Does documenting thoughts change their course? – A Thought(s) Experiment

  1. Hey, Thought Train! I love your candor and your illustrations 🙂 So here’s my take – we can’t help ourselves. Anyone who shows up on wordpress is… well, let’s just say inclined to get our thoughts out on the page. The beautiful thing that happens next is what makes us writers. Some yank their thoughts around and torture themselves with them. But eventually they come out on the other side with something that rings true to another soul, something that validates them. Some sow their thoughts and reap a harvest (which based on your following, it looks like you’ve done!) I find that my thoughts are subtext for my characters (and it’s free therapy). This generous community has helped me forgive myself a little and soldier on to get my thoughts down. To send the wagging finger (my inner editor) packing. So glad to connect – I’ll keep reading if you keep writing!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Sharon, your insightful words have added meaning to my post. Thanks so much! You have termed the entire writing experience as such a lovely one, that it in fact, serves as an inspiration. I also like to provide my thoughts as the foundations on which to build characters. That is a relieving escape for me – an outlet for my thoughts! Writing is DEFINITELY free therapy – I couldn’t agree more! I’ll keep writing, so that you can keep encouraging me with such words of wisdom. Thanks again, Sharon…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Documenting” thoughts is like recording dreams: it helps in remembering and collating, but mostly it helps recognizing circular thoughts and avoiding them. Eventually we learn to “document” thoughts that have validity and let go those that act as training wheels on a bicycle when you’re 25 years old and should know better. Another aspect of documenting thoughts is that, since they’re your own thoughts, you can write them down however you want, change some of them, all of them and end up with something you can use. Thoughts are the raw material of the mind, and the mind needs the freedom to accept, reject, change, ignore, reach for new and more. Ultimately the more thoughts are exposed under the process of consciousness and awareness, the more powerful they become, the more they are “mine” and self-empowering as well as validating. My take on it.

    This reminds me of a bar joke: Descartes comes into a bar and orders a glass of wine. A while later seeing the glass empty, the bartender comes to his table and asks if he wants a refill. Descartes says, “I think not” – and vanished.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha… That was a good one – just how apt to end your comment! The joke summarised your point. Indeed, the holding, moulding and carving of thoughts wouldn’t be possible if one does set the mind free to dwell on it. That point you made about thoughts being processed while in a conscious state is so true. Yes. It definitely makes them more “mine”, more meaningful and hence, like you said, self-empowering and validating. Documenting thoughts will definitely lead to some great insight. In fact, it could not only help me meet a new “me”, it could also help me transform into a new, more real “me”.

      Documenting my thoughts was exactly the idea behind starting this blog, but eventually I turned it into more of a creative writing blog. I do wish to focus more on this “thought documentation” aspect now.

      Thanks a lot Sha’Tara, for such inspiring words, and especially, that joke! It made my day.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Documenting thoughts is definitely a therapy, an instant release to our thought process.Should it give us character and expression? The problem arises when while putting down the words we pause,think,often rephrase our thoughts we dilute them. Also our mind moves faster than our hands and at times it becomes difficult to chain our ramblings.What we produce is not we intended even though the end product is satisfying. We are responsible for adulterating our thought process.The constant between the thought and the word is inevitable.However documentation satisfies our creative urge and gives shape to our caged ramblings. I hope my documentation makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is exactly what the message of the post is. Your documentation makes more sense than most of mine. I cannot overstate the times I have diluted my thoughts by taking time out to rephrase, and it is almost always the case that the end product is not something that I intended to turn out, when I began writing – sometimes for worse, sometimes for the better. Thank you so much for your documentation. 🙂


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