Clear thinking

Struggle to think clearly

When I think about a topic in my head, when I ponder it for some time, it’s always so clear, so well-defined. All the major points for and against are obvious. The picture is lucid and it seems it would be just a matter of sitting at the keyboard and pouring all of it on the virtual paper.

But when I actually sit and try to write, words are not coming. The previously clear thoughts start to get fuzzy. My mind fights back any attempts to extract previous thinking out of it into something which can be communicated to others.

It’s not limited to writing. In conversations with my friends, it’s the same problem.

At that point I start to doubt if I have some thinking problem, if my day to day thoughts are not focused enough, and the fact that I perceive them so clearly is just an illusion. I start to think that I lack some kind of discipline to turn my swirling thoughts into an effective communication.

How come others don’t have the same problem? Most of the content I read is coherent and to the point (eventually). In every book or a published article I get serious envy for the clarity of the message. Those writers seem to possess something which I lack.

And I’m almost certain I know what it is, what separates my clumsy attempts at writing down my thinking from published works (and I purposefully skip the matter of style, language skills or compositional mastery). What is missing from my writing is lack of patience. I expect myself to produce a perfect written word with every attempt.

Patience and willingness to edit and rewrite, to make it better once it’s out of my mind into some separate medium, where it can be looked at and analysed as a separate entity. Only from that perspective I can see any flaws which were hiding behind my ability to fill out missing or clumsy bits in my mind. Out there it needs to defend itself. And that’s good because that way it can be improved.

But it’s hard and difficult to see that what you had hoped to be very good work to be, generously speaking, mediocre at best. Insistence on avoiding that painful feeling of disappointment is what have driven me away from revising and editing my work. But not anymore, now when I know what’s behind it I can take proper steps to ensure my subconsciousness is not in charge.

Now I’ll make sure that my words are at least one level up from a brain dump, a step up in quality, or at least in the effort I put in.