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Hello, I'm Wojciech 👋

Writing is thinking

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read

I’ve used this phrase already here: writing is thinking. Today, I wanted to get deeper into what it means for me and what the writing process helps me achieve.

Clearing mind

I’ve used to pride myself on keeping everything important in my mind - what I’m doing tonight, what I’m doing on a Wednesday three weeks from now, did I book the flights for my holiday that’s happening in four months? At some point (probably in my late twenties) I had to let go of it. Either my life became complicated enough, or my mind clattered with other things, but that superpower went slipped and never came back. Nowadays, I achieve a similar level of comfort by writing things down. Once I write something down (idea for a side project, unexpected expense, event in the calendar), I know I don’t need to store it in my head anymore. It’s just as freeing as it was to know I remember everything important.

Processing

Often I write things down to figure out how I feel / think about things. For example, if I want to see how busy is next weekend, I can take a look (or plan) the list of things that I’d want to do and check my calendar for what’s already planned. Got a decision to make? Writing down pros and cons helps to keep me honest and focused. For example, if looking for a job I’d write down what my strict requirements are (both DOs and DON’Ts), what I value as advantages, etc. This lets me quickly classify job ads whether they’re worth applying for or not. No matter how amazing and tempting everything else is, I know that anything that requires going to an office or writing backend code in Node is a no-go.

Keeping backlog of ideas

I used to keep my side projects idea in my head, thinking that keeping them top of mind make sure I’ll get to them. Unfortunately, it just led me to feeling guilty that I haven’t gotten around to them at random moments of my life - on a bicycle ride, in a grocery store, etc. Nowadays, I keep them all written down which makes it easy to go back to them whenever I decide to pursue them. I can just decide I’ll spend some time on one of them and see what’s a chunk that would fit in my next week’s schedule.

Thinking

Finally, we’re getting to the main point. Often, writing helps me think. I was recently feeling trapped in Agile and was pondering various methods of running projects and their tradeoffs. Right off the bat, I realised that the easiest way to organise all that in my head is to write it down - what options are there, when do I think they’re a good fit, and what tradeoffs they come with. Without writing it down this would be both difficult (juggling ideas in my head) and pointless (because I’d forget my conclusions in a couple of weeks).

So, now you know what to expect in my next post.

Have a good one,

Wojciech

Hello, I'm Wojciech 👋

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