Sometimes it helps me to imagine that other people might read these notes. Explaining something to someone else, being the teacher, is a great way to test your own knowledge. It brings you right up to the points where you need to start investing time and energy to learn something new, broaden your horizon.
I wonder if journaling, in the traditional sense of keeping a diary, and personifying the medium your writing in is a form of externalising that thought process. Like talking to a friend. They know you but they don’t – there’s always another piece of you to explore. Something you can give to them. Something they can give you.
This also reminds me of the whole “Building in Public” thing that people in the knowledge-management scene are always talking about. I’m not sure why but I involuntarily have to cringe every time I see the same “I’m sharing my thoughts in the spirit of working with the garage door up” explanation on digital garden sites.
Perhaps because it’s overused in this scene? Or am I actually jealous of the confidence other people have while I keep wrestling with my own and others’ (imagined) expectations? Do I feel pressured to perform by putting myself out there? I know I keep quiet in online discourse to avoid criticism, else I’m not fun to be around because I keep fighting off imaginary and real criticism alike.
However, I have noticed myself that following daily logs, ideas and from people like @slono has been incredibly helpful in shaping my own workflow and attitude towards this note-taking business.
And there’s at least the anecdotal evidence that a friend of mine keeps having “Oh my God, how didn’t I think of this sooner!” moments when talking about their dreams and projects out loud to me. As if their brain clicks once they try to explain it in a way that they hope makes sense to me as an observer, the audience.
I guess my notes will always be a mix of both and that’s okay. For me, writing as a form of thinking seems to be largely equal to talking out loud. It’s a form of intentionality that I would like to explore more.
- partly sparked by Tools for thought – science design art craftsmanship
- Feynman Technique for teaching