You may notice that the subheading for this blog is ‘thoughts I do not want to keep in my head’ (if you do not notice it, examine what the top of the browser says). This is related to one of the reasons I started this blog seven years ago.
Yes, I started this blog exactly seven years ago. This is a bloggerversary post.
Seven years ago, I was aware that my internal monologue – the constant stream of words I say to myself in my mind – was very active, and I thought it would be nice if it would be less active. I thought, maybe if I started a blog and wrote down some of these ideas which preoccupied my internal monologue, I would be able to let go of some of these thoughts, and my mind would become less verbose.
It did not work out that way.
My mind is just as chatty today as it was seven years ago. If anything, trying to focus my thoughts enough to write blog posts stimulates even more thought, and thoughts which seven years ago may not have formed into words, or at least not full sentences, are now giving speeches at the podium in my mind.
The change that happened is not that my internal monologue became quieter. The change that happened is that my internal monologue became more organized.
I find myself thinking about my own thoughts in a more critical way. I think more about how I can phrase my thoughts so that others could understand them, or how I could arrange them to be more persuasive, and so forth. Even when I am thinking about a topic that I have no intention of blogging about, I find myself thinking about it in a more intellectually rigorous manner.
I also question my own thoughts more. There have been enough instances when I published something on this blog, and found out that I was wrong, that I have become more careful of doing fact-checking before I post things about this blog. In turn, that means there have been more blog post drafts which have been abandoned because my fact-check revealed that what I was thinking was not as based on reality as I had previously assumed (you do not want to know what is in my graveyard of abandoned blog post drafts. Or maybe you do want to know, but ~I~ do not want you to know). In turn, that means I find myself questioning why I think x about y, and whether the foundation of knowledge that those thoughts rely on is as solid as I think it is.
Maybe questioning myself more means that I put more effort into correcting myself and thus my thoughts have a closer relationship to reality than they did before. But I do not know how to measure whether or not this is the case.
So keeping a weekly blog for seven years has changed the way I think, but not in the way I was hoping for. I’m not too disappointed because, even when I started this blog, I knew I might not quiet down my internal monologue, and I was prepared to accept failure on that front.
It does freak me out a bit that this blog has had such a discernible effect on the way I think. The effect may not have been discernible in the first year or two, but I can definitely feel the effect now. What if I hadn’t started this blog? Would my thinking patterns still be essentially the same as they were seven years ago, or would they changed just as much, but in a different way? I suppose it is a good thing that our ways of thinking are malleable, but feeling how such a simple thing as blogging on a regular basis can have such an effect also leaves me a little uncomfortable.
Ah, that’s enough navel-gazing. Thank you for reading, whether you are a reader who found this blog as soon as it was created and have been following it ever since, or you are a reader who just dropped in for one post.