I have been writing about Mind-mapping in my other blog, and how it exploits the associative nature of our brain. The brain works in images, in snapshots, which is then translated into language. When someone says “tree” to me, I get an image of a tree, not its wikipedia definition, that definition comes on recall, when needed.
The write-as-you-think journal works on the same concept. From a “tree”, I might begin to think of the green hill in front of my earlier home, which might make me think of how excited my husband was to locate our house on Google earth when Google first came up with it.
And that might make me think of how Google has changed my life, how I depend on it for information like have never done on anything and anyone else before. Which, in turn, may make me think of my Dad and how his encyclopaedic knowledge of almost everything around the sun makes his friends call him up when solving crossword puzzles!
Writing about crossword puzzles makes me think of Sudoku, and how I suck at it, and makes me think of searching for an easy Sudoku puzzle to do online. This is exactly how I get distracted on a bad day, when almost anything is enough to get me distracted from work.
On better days, a word like “tree” might make me think of the tree I am supposed to be researching on, which can provide access to poison in a particular time period, in a particular area. And this would set me off on Google searching poisons, or to an online library I am subscribed to. I would also possibly end up writing up bits and pieces of the story I am working on. Result at the end of the day: a few precious pages written, some background research done.
I seriously feel that while writing fiction, a write-as-you-think journal can be an interesting experiment. It can let you document how your mind works, and help you channelize it in directions you want it to go, and prevent it from going on fruitless quests.