Writing as a way of thinking

dumbledore_pensieve

A cool seminar series that I’m taking this quarter is called Future Faculty Seminar (CTL 231).

Yesterday, one of the panelists members mentioned something which got my attention. She was talking about writing and how different people think about writing - some write to communicate and some write to think.

I wondered to myself, which category I fell into. And I think it’s the latter. I have two diaries (one for to-do lists etc, the other for notes and ideas), a blog and a gazillion post its on my wall. And sometimes I just write down things to clarify them to myself.

I’ve always found it very easy to confuse myself – whether it’s a scientific problem, whether it’s prioritizing a list of tasks or whether it’s a moral dilemma. And often enough, I resort to writing it down and find that as I write my thoughts out, the problems starts to unravel and untangle. And pretty soon, I reach a conclusion. In fact, more often than not, I feel as if I get some closure in my mind once I’ve jotted it down.

When I write down stuff, I actually imagine myself transferring my thoughts and memories into a pensieve just like Dumbledore.

So, here’s a cool idea I have.

I wonder if it would be possible for me to write something daily. Wouldn’t it be amazing if I had the ability to write about something – just like running, it would be exercise for my brain. Now, my idea is this – I can combine this with my research so I don’t waste too much time writing about things which are not important.

So, the idea is this – if I could write a summary for a research paper every day, that would be just awesome. This way, I’d get myself to read more literature related to my work, and when I write it down, I’d have some understanding of what it was.

Sounds like win-win to me.

I reckon it should take about 30-60 minutes of my time everyday. If I just write about a paragraph, then I could spend most of the time reading a paper.

Excellent. I’ll try to see if I can get a parallel blog on this site going for this research-paper-a-day idea.

Seems like worth a shot to me.

Nothing to lose. Everything to gain.

 

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  • Kirtika

    Totally agreed- I have a similar project that I am not being too diligent in implementing – take half an hour each day to jot down my thoughts about life, career, relationships so that in the future, I can see how I evolved in my thoughts, exposure and horizons.
    A prof of mine had this quote on his webpage – “Writing is to the mind what alum is to murky water.”
    I am going to be forever thankful to him for introducing me to that line!

    • http://bhamla.com Saad Bhamla

      Interesting quote: I’m guessing alum cleans water somehow?

      • Kirtika

        :P You’re the chemical engineer.

        • Preeti

          Seriously, Bhamla.

          • http://bhamla.com Saad Bhamla

            :)

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