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TOPIC: Thinking with descriptions

Thinking with descriptions 1 year 11 months ago #2172

  • Velvet
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When I imagine something it’s almost like I write a story in my head. I think of facts and features and related things that I have memorised, but rather than just listing off random facts (I do this occasionally if rushed, but not usually) I tend to put them together into some sort of descriptive text.

When I close my eyes and imagine a sunset, I can’t picture how it would look. I can’t summon up the orange hues that tint the sky or the pink hazy edges as it dips below the horizon. I can’t see the clouds that seem to glow in the fading light, nor can I picture the long, dark shadows cast by the silhouetted trees or the way the water ripples with light and shadow as if ablaze with fire. I can imagine it though, in words, as I just typed.

I know what a sunset looks like, I can describe it and think back to the places I’ve stood and watched the sun go down. I’ve seen many sunsets, but while I can remember the descriptions of how they looked I’m unable to bring those images back into my mind. I can’t relive the experience.

I remember as a child I spent so many hours writing. One of my favorite things to do was write descriptions of mundane things. This was considered strange by my mum, but she let me get on with it.
I must have written hundreds of descriptions. I had books full of them, describing everything I could think of in as much detail as I could. I remember writing two or three pages just to describe a blank piece of paper.

Now I know about aphantasia, I believe this was my way of learning how to 'picture' things without images, as I still seem to do a similar thing today; when I look at something new, I often find myself writing out a description in my head to think back on later.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 11 months ago #2177

  • Nathan Buzby
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Well written, I like to think of it as narrative thinking, there is often a poetry to thought and the flow of words.
Tone Disclaimer: If you read something I write and feel I am trolling, please read it again and imagine instead you are talking to a teacher or professor. I do not write from a place of self-superiority or ego, I favor dialectical conversations that seek to find underlying causation and truth.
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 11 months ago #2181

  • Velvet
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Narrative thinking is a nice term (I may have to borrow it :P). I agree, there is often a poetry to thought and words. I feel that flow helps to keep the words in my mind and makes them easier to think back on and remember.
To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else
means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. - E.E. Cummings
Last Edit: 1 year 11 months ago by Velvet.
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 10 months ago #2286

  • Philip
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I know what you mean.
I am a hobbyist writer and everyone who's ready any of my stories always say things like: "Wow, Philip, you just have this way with words." or "You really know how to get inside my head." etc...
However, I also can't visualize what I imagine. I just think up a scenario in my mind, like the way you form scentences in your head just before you speak them aloud. Then, I type them with my keyboard and proofread/edit.
Appparently aphantasia has given me the ability to make up a story and be able to describe it as though I was actually there, even though I will NEVER be able to actually picture what I write in my imagination...
But, the up side is that I am never distracted with imagery that could possibly contradict my end goals.
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 6 months ago #2846

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This is exactly how I am! I really like the term 'narrative thinking'!

Even my memories are stories I tell myself about what happened, with emotions festooned on the words.
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 1 month ago #4444

  • Proud Lee
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Velvet- that is EXACTLY how I describe my thoughts as well! I always called it my inner text. It is so cathartic to read that someone else has the same experience that I do!
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Thinking with descriptions 1 year 1 week ago #4731

  • AlanC
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I grew up on the border with Mexico and from about age 5 was surrounded by more spanish speakers than english speakers.

I can read spanish, but I cannot speak more than a few phrases nor understand much at all when spoken to.

I now think that is because my inner voice is constantly providing a narrative of my thoughts in english .
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