Just a quick thought.
I like to think, and I like to write down what I think, and I’ve found that the best way to maximize my thinking power on paper is what I call headspace (I’m sure I didn’t make this up, but I must’ve lost the headspace where I wrote down who I got it from). Headspace, for me, involves finding the right medium for my thoughts, like finding the right canvas to paint on. So, some things that I do, I need to do on a computer or else my thinking goes awry. For some things I need unlined paper, for some I need lined paper. Notebooks, notepads, looseleaf- all these mediums upon which I can write have come to represent different ways I will write.
In other words, what I write on influences what I write, the very tone and tenor of the writing itself. I’m not the only one to feel this way, either. Friedrich Nietzche, after he bought a Hansen Writing Ball typewriter in the latter part of his (sane) life, said that “our writing equipment takes part in forming our thoughts” (By the way, all this is in Nick Carr’s book The Shallows).
I first realized that my brain works this way when I was stuck for a few hours with nothing but a pencil and a half sheet of printer paper, folded into four columns. I started writing, and soon filled the whole sheet, front and back, in a small, cramped hand.
What I noticed when I went through to type it up later was that the writing style I used in this little “fourfold” was different than anything I’ve ever written. I tried to duplicate the process with another half sheet of paper and found the same result.
After that I became a bit more intentional about trying to find the right headspace for whatever I’m working on. If I’m starting out on a project and I get frustrated, sometimes I just switch from using a pen and paper to keyboard, or to a smaller notebook, or whatever the case may be. I’m sure this way of thinking applies to more people than just me and Nietzche, so I commend this to you thinkers and students as a method that may be helpful. It has been for me.
And by the way, if you do come up with a really cool and creative headspace idea, let me know.