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).
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