If you have ever been stumped, panicked, frozen, or otherwise
made helpless by the question, "What are you thinking about?",
you might enjoy this brief essay from Justin Wehr. An excerpt:
"The truth is that it is almost impossible for me to do any kind of profound thinking within the confines of my skull. I can do it just fine in writing, but that almost doesn’t count because I never know what’s going to come out of my writing. Writing is not, as we so often misbelieve, reproducing thoughts on paper. Writing (for me) is starting with a tiny blip of inspiration and then building on it with reactions, and reactions to those reactions, and so forth. And then of course there is the crucial step of polishing, deleting, and re-arranging to get something like coherence. The end result is probably more surprising to me than it is to you."