This is me writing just to keep the writing and thinking flowing. I find I miss it now, if I go more than a couple days without thinking-out-loud in this space. I've heard journalers with a "daily pages" label for their practice, and I think that feels like what I'm appreciating about the "just write, doesn't matter what" feel of writing as a... I'll say, as a thinking practice.

Writing forces a clarity level above my normal thought process - making it visible makes it more real, and having to pick the best words pulls "what do I really mean" to the forefront. Sometimes I assume that I know what I mean, which turns out not to be true upon inspection. ...if you know what I mean.

Having a visible thought trail laid out in front of me also gives me space for more meta-level reflection. There really is a second brain effect in my experience, in the sense where the offloading of thoughts from working memory does create more room for other thoughts when my brain isn't trying to maintain all the previous thoughts in my awareness. Actually it's probably both things combining: writing a thought reifies it and caches it and makes it referenceable, and then that mental reference is a smaller cognitive load in working memory.

Awareness - I find my mind pulling me back to awareness again, with that sense of "there's something interesting there to discover." Free association sensing:

  • The close constraints of our normal awareness that our brain usually hides from us entirely so that we don't even notice
  • Other people as a delay/echo loop, being another form of second brain
  • Roam (I'm a not-yet-power user) and networks of related thoughts, how visual/spatial maps can represent pretty darn complex systems
  • The power of performance chain analysis deriving from the cognition of mapping
  • Should really dig into Wardley Mapping more, as another instance of "topographical intelligence"
  • Back to people again, and writing also... how are they similar in terms of awareness-bringing?
  • Ooh, my one dig into argument mapping, back in grad school doing research in analogy mapping

Writing is an awareness practice. Being with people who listen to you and reflect what they hear and ask questions is an awareness practice. Mapping is an awareness practice. Mapping can be a meta layer on top of writing, providing spatial relationship and organization to many reified thoughts. Looping your awareness through other people is more of a creative generator - the double-translation process serving as a tumbler for seeing adjacent thoughts and new connections. Organizing as a solo introspective activity versus creativity as a social/relational activity. But they are both seeing activities (or can be), and both can be intentional practices of increasing our awareness, which in a pretty direct way is also our capacity. Awareness == capacity? Another time, life calls.