Lucas Cohen

Writing vs. Thinking

Writing vs. Thinking (DALL·E)

Image generated using DALL·E

The more I write, the more I notice how different it is from thinking.

Writing is directive and conclusive. Thoughts are open and expansive.

They both might start out exploratory. But while thoughts branch out expansively, writing grounds insights narrowly.

By writing something, you're reducing the possibility space of where an idea can go. You're seeing thoughts through to conclusions.


It’s hard to find time to write.

It’s also hard to find time to think.

It’s much harder to multitask when writing than it is to multitask when thinking.

Our fingers and keyboards provide liberating structures to guide the mind even when it doesn’t yet know its destination.

That’s why meditation could be perceived as harder than writing. It’s just you and your thoughts, with few other structures at play. At least with writing it’s you, your fingers, a keyboard (or a pen) and your thoughts. Adding elements makes it easier to engage.

You can also see the entire past history of your current writing session in real time as you write. Totally different from thinking––thoughts come and go. Words stay.

Writing takes thoughts and instantiates them into the world. A bridge from the mind to reality. And one which benefits both.

- January 30, 2022