What’s in your head?

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!




3 thoughts on “What’s in your head?

  1. Some of us get more than images. I was diagnosed with synesthesia (although “diagnosed” implies a disorder, which is definitely not the case) and it answered a lot of questions I’ve pondered throughout my lifetime. Sensing colors and flavors associated with certain word combinations and sounds was always just a normal human experience to me, until I learned that most people don’t perceive things this way. We all perceive the world in our own unique ways… but I think writing is truly mind-blowing, because so many of us can use the same 26 little symbols to express virtually any concept!

    • Darius, I’ve read about synesthesia, it’s so fascinating! My first reaction was – why isn’t that the way we all experience things?? Why are our senses so isolated from one another? It seems like a fuller way of experiencing the world. And I agree about writing – not only do we use the same 26 letters to express a multitude of ideas – but any two of us can read the same passage of words and interpret it very differently!

  2. Pingback: Finding My Voice | Chocolate & Toast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s