Last week – if my pre-flu memory serves me – there was a meme going around social media about the ways people experience their inner thoughts. The Upworthy summary was: Apparently, some people don’t have an internal monologue and the internet is shook.
I’m a little shook, too. People think in PICTURES?
I’ve had a running monologue in my head for as long as I can remember, and probably even longer than that. My inner voice is undeniably loud and demanding – and even worse, my inner voice is an Editor. It’s not enough to send a string of words through my head once. My Inner Voice will turn the same words over and over and over, moving them around until they fit together nicely. This means that my brain is either replaying conversations I’ve already had (and telling me what I should have said and how) or practicing for future conversations (imagined or actual), or writing the first draft of an epic novel. Sometimes, it’s doing all three things at once.
I think this is partly what contributes to my introvertedness – and is probably the main cause of my RBF. I have a semi-permanent pinch in my brow line from concentrating on that inner voice. Sometimes I’m paying attention to it because it is interesting, but more often than not I’m trying desperately to shove it into the background. It’s exhausting. I wish with all my heart that I could think in big, beautiful images. Or even dark, gloomy images. I would love a break from the nonstop march of text characters through my skull. Especially at night, in those gloaming moments when the day has fallen away and everything is quiet. Those are the moments when the words in my head can be equally beautiful and maddening. Beautiful when they flow through me in a story that I wish I could remember in the morning, part of me but somehow separate and intangible. Maddening when they won’t SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP.
It’s not always terrible, having words dancing in my head. Sometimes they come pouring out of me and I think yes! this is it, this is going to be a book! And maybe, eventually, all those words will form themselves into an idea full enough and coherent enough and interesting enough to be published. That’s part of what I’ll be exploring in future blog posts. But in the meantime I’ll be over here imagining what it would be like to have images in vivid colors and patterns swirling through my skull as I drift off every night. It sounds like paradise to me.
If you’re a visual thinker, I hope you’ll let me know what it’s like inside your head!