Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

Thinking Clearly

Telling something clearly requires thinking it clearly.

Telling a story and telling it clearly first requires seeing that story: maybe just a moment in that story, maybe the entire current scene beyond just that moment, maybe the whole story appearing in a flash -- see Stephen King's story about how he suddenly figured out how The Stand should end after weeks of getting nowhere -- but whether you're seeing an as-clear-as-Google-Maps image of the road ahead or islands of images looming or lurking in fog, you have to see something. And make sense of it. And hope it will make sense to others who are reading.

Sometimes I struggle with, shall we say, "noisy head"*: I've never been the most straightforward thinker, and the threads between my thoughts don't always seem to connect, even to me. At some level the thoughts are linear, same as the simplest way to tell a story -- this happened, then this happened, and then this happened -- but getting them to appear linear even to me who's thinking them can be a challenge. The thoughts can be jumbled. It can result in jumbled writing, saved by rewriting -- even these journal entries take a fair amount of on-the-fly revision -- and that's a relief, because really, I want to be clear. (I admire good explainers. That's a special skill, one I've tried to cultivate.) As much as I enjoy my dreams, which have always been vivid, I want my waking thoughts to be clearer than the thoughts behind those dreams.

I'm working on that. Life's a work in progress, after all, don't you know.

Think well.

* I considered using that phrase as the title, but decided it could give the wrong impression of what I was writing about.

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