Mark Stoneman

Independent Historian / Freelance Editor and Translator

Home » Blog » Writing is Thinking

Fifteen years ago, I wrote a short post encouraging students to write for themselves on a regular basis:

Writing is hard work for almost everyone, no matter how talented or inspired. Writing is thinking. Good writers do not usually have finished ideas that they then type out. The process of writing and revision is an act of thinking and discovery. . . .

A couple days ago, a tweet by a disaster historian came across my timeline that summed things up perfectly:

Scott Gabriel Knowles: "How do people who don't write know what they think about anything?" (Sept 23, 2022)
Screenshot linked to Tweet on the Wayback Machine

That Scott Knowles expressed this thought on Twitter reminds me that tweeting can also be a form of writing as thinking. This felt particularly true to me back in the 140-character-limit days; however, even with 280 characters and easy threading, Twitter can foster regular reflection, concise expression, and ongoing rephrasing and revision. Moreover, it affords plenty of opportunities to practice these things in conversation with others. Maybe that is what keeps me coming back, especially whenever times feel more topsy-turvy and worrisome than usual.