I Have A Thinking Problem

Hi, my name is Whitney, and I have a thinking problem.

That’s cute, right, that pun? I thought it was cute. {:

It’s true though — I have a thinking problem. Here’s my problem:

I can’t hold a thought in my head long enough to act on it.

Ok, saying it like that might be a bit of hyperbole since I DO manage to accomplish a lot of things, but I can’t tell you how often I think, “oh, I should go ________” and even if I drop everything that moment to do it, the minute I turn around, I’ve forgotten what I set out to do.

Example: Let’s say I’m drawing, and I’m thinking about how I want the drawing to go. I think about something I want to incorporate into the drawing and decide to go look up reference material. In the time it takes me to roll in my wheelie-chair away from my drafting table, move up to my desk, and open a browser tab, I’ve forgotten the entire reason I opened that browser tab.

It’s not like I’m taking a trip down the hall or even across the room — my drafting table is at a right angle to my desk, so I just have to pivot to the left 90° and roll forward about a foot. How can I possibly forget something that quickly?

Sometimes I get lucky and can remember it if I sit there a minute or two and play through what I had been doing and thinking about up until that moment. Other times it’s just POOF! Gone for good. It’s immeasurably frustrating.

It isn’t just drawing — I have the same issue with writing. Sometimes the words I want to write just flow easily out of me, but I know that if I don’t stop at that very moment and write it down word for word, I’ll lose it forever, and I’ll even lose the entire concept behind it. I’ve tried writing down the concept only, but I never get that word flow quite right again. You wouldn’t believe how many blog posts I’ve lost over this. And even while writing it down, I’ll lose parts of it. It’s like I think in paragraph form but by the time I write the first half, I’ve forgotten the second. Writing an outline or bullet points doesn’t work either because, again, I’ll lose the last ones before I even get to them. It’s like the mere act of writing one bullet point makes me lose the next.

This has been an issue for quite some time and I’m not sure what to do about it. Oh, sure, I’ve tried writing everything down in a notebook, but again, by the time I get that notebook open, the thought is gone. I’ve tried having a single index card on my desk. Actually, I should try that one again, because my issue there might have been my difficulty in creating habits. Now, doesn’t that make sense? I would think those two issues relate to each other somehow.

It would be easy to say, “Well, if I can’t remember it, it couldn’t have been that important,” but I don’t think that’s the case. This happens to everyone from time to time, but with me, it happens often enough and quickly enough that I think it’s an issue. It makes me feel like I don’t have control over my own brain, and that’s scary.