Thinking About How Much I Think About What I Think About (And Then Blogging About It)

Don’t know about you, but I’m a rather thinky person.

On numerous occasions in my life, a conversation I’ve started with “Have you ever thought about…” has been quickly shut down by the other person with a brief “um, no, never…”, and a look somewhere between baffled and bemused, as to why anyone would give such a topic any thought at all.

My mind is almost constantly processing on multiple levels (along with the incessant internal jukebox that’s currently flitting between an Ennio Morricone theme (Cinema Paradiso) and a tune on our baby’s musical animal cube (“Hello li-on in the Af-ri-can sun!”) and is rarely quiet.

But I don’t see this as a negative.

I love thinking, and encouraging others to do so. 

This said though, ironically, some of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of my life have been whilst engaged in activities that have, if not removed this rampant thinking entirely, certainly turned down the volume and put it up on a high, dusty shelf in the back of my brain, out of reach for a while.

Examples of these experiences these days include photo walks in the countryside and intimate adventures with my wife.

In previous chapters of my life, I’ve known similar kinds of thought respite through playing certain video games, dancing, reading, even just listening to music.

Put another way, these are all activities that you can become fully immersed and lost in, so the usual background chatter (and indeed everything else in the external world too) temporarily just disappears.


Which brings us to the connection between blogging and thinking.

This blog (and the blogs I follow in general) I see primarily as having two roles.

First, as a place for me to think out loud, around photography and related subjects.

Second, it’s a platform where others are offered the chance and encouraged to think out loud too – not necessarily in the same way as me, but in the same safe and mutually respectful place.

From this basic premise, I have learned a great deal from both aspects, and it’s why blogging remains so vital and relevant for me.

Writing out my thoughts generally gives them more coherence and logic, rather than being a swirling maelstrom of fragmented ideas in my mind.

And having your input in return is usually any combination of supportive, reassuring, educational, enlightening, informative and entertaining.

Regardless of the core focus of 35hunter – hunting for beauty and balance with a camera in hand – the twin purposes outlined above I suspect would be the same whether I was writing primarily about bikes, bird watching, baking or bartitsu.

It would still be a place to write about the thoughts and experiences I have around the particular practice, and to encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences too.

The more I blog, the more I appreciate it as a format, and want to continue.

450 posts, 370k words and nearly four years in with 35hunter, it feels like I’m just hitting my stride.

Plus the more I write here, the more the whole format of a blog  feels so much more valuable and meaningful than the increasingly fleeting and myriad streams of social media out there, that feel too scattered and fragmented.

Blogging feels like hanging out in a favourite cafe for a few hours with a combination of familiar friends and curious first time visitors, settling down to good company and intelligent conversation.

Social media is more akin to darting into seven different cafes just long enough to say hi and throw a drink and a doughnut down your neck before racing on to the next one, feeling increasingly queasy, exhausted and irritable.

Blogging is one very effective form of thinking out loud. And one I hope to continue to enjoy for years to come.

How about you? How much of a thinker are you? What do you spend most time thinking about? How does this fit in with the blogs you write and read?

Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).

Thanks for looking.

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11 thoughts on “Thinking About How Much I Think About What I Think About (And Then Blogging About It)”

  1. I think so much that I wear myself out. About everything, but mainly about things that I need to do which has only just occurred to me. Perhaps if I procrastinated less I would have more fun thinking about things that I want to do … food for thought perhaps ..

    1. I guess I used to wear myself out thinking, but not really these days. If I have too many things to do, then I write a list. I can’t hold too much in my head at once! But once I have a list, there’s a plan of action – pick one thing and begin. Which focuses the thinking, and the acting upon it. I would say perhaps procrastinating is not the same as thinking. Thinking can be very productive and crucial to get to the next step of action (which may be a new/different level of thought). Procrastination on the whole neither enlightens or achieves anything!

      Unless you use it like this –

      1. Thanks Katie. I noticed you subscribed – just to let you know this is an archive of my previous blog, and I have no plans to publish anything new. Feel free to explore the archives though!

  2. I have heard this referred to as analysis paralysis. When I was new to PS I attended a seminar being taught by a “guru” and at the break I got in line to ask him a few questions that I had rolling around in my head. After asking my final question(he was unable to answer my other questions) I stood there for what seemed like several minutes waiting for his insightful answer. He then leaned forward in his chair and said to me”you are way overthinking this”. So I certainly can relate to this malady but have learned a little about how to confront it. I have the tendency to want to know the solution before I attempt to start a project. This is not always possible so the end result can be that nothing is accomplished. I try to look at the situation and determine what it is that I can do immediately to get the ball rolling(something as simple as removing my camera from the bag or putting it up to my eye and taking a look at the scene in front of me). Taking the initiative and doing anything, no matter how simple, can break the log jam that is starting to form in my head. Just taking a first step in any direction can help open new pathways of thought. Think to yourself “what can I do right now”?

    1. Bill, yes I’ve definitely experienced paralysis by analysis a few times!

      I imagine I would have been like you at the Photoshop conference, then felt disappointed that the “expert” wasn’t quite the expert I thought he was (or had been led to believe when I signed up). I feel like this much of the time in my day job actually, when you have an IT issue, someone comes over and just tries all the things you already did, then says “Hmm, not sure, I’m going to Google it, and I’ll get back to you”…

      Definitely agree about taking any small action to break the stalemate, to get moving. Sometimes it’s as simple as a change of physiology, like going for a walk around or laying flat on your back instead of sitting.

      I think digital cameras can certainly encourage overthinking, as there are just so many options. This is why I favour older, simpler ones! And sometimes I just like to stick it on Program mode and focus just on the composition, leaving all other decisions to the camera.

  3. Most of the problems of the world, big and small, are caused by people who don’t think.
    Although thinking can sometimes cause problems not thinking, or rather acting without thinking, almost certainly will.
    At least that’s what I think.
    At the moment.

    1. I generally agree Marc. So many of so many people’s actions day to day are mindless, just on autopilot, doing them over and over without stopping to think what the point is, or what the consequences may be…

  4. I was born with an analytical mind… so have spent my whole life thinking. In my teens and twenties, my dad would come into my room and say “what are you doing in here all day?” and I’d say “thinking”. It had its upsides and its downsides, the latter mostly being that I would over-think everything to the degree that often it prevented me starting things. And when I say ‘think’ I don’t mean the daily, minute-to-minute kind. This was deep analysis of all sorts of things. Unfortunately, as I may have already mentioned, in the mid 1990s two prescribed drugs I was taking conflicted with each other and as a result I lost most of my vocabulary, most of my ability to visualize and also a lot of my memory. Along with those went my ability to think constructively. So a lot of my time, these days, is spent in a kind of brain-fog. The thoughts are still there but don’t stay for long. I also find it very difficult these days to comprehend writing that in the past would not have been at all a problem for me.

    However, how it fits with the blogs I read (though not so much the ones I write) is that, like you, I treasure comments and its those that help me feel like I’m still connected to other people, and – much nicer for me – their minds. 🙂 Good post, Dan.

    1. Val I can relate to the overthinking. I need time to process virtually any decision, and hate being rushed. But the trick is to spend enough time to make a rational decision you can stand by, but without over analysing anything to death!

      I can’t imagine how that felt to lose parts of your vocabulary and memory, that must have been pretty frightening.

      Yeh I know online it’s not like a conversation in person, but like you say I think we genuinely can connect with another’s mind and it be rewarding both ways.

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