Have you ever heard the expression, There are no bad ideas in brainstorming?
I think of stream of consciousness writing as a form of brainstorming. It’s not to say there are no bad ideas, but there’s a time to brainstorm – to let all ideas flow out. And there’s a time to edit – to choose which ideas to keep and which ideas to let go of.
If I judge my ideas during stream of consciousness, I’m missing the point of what I’m doing. Stream of consciousness writing isn’t necessarily the finished product. It can be a way to get ideas moving, or of exploring thoughts that are normally unexpressed. If I disrupt the flow early on, I may not get to the ideas that need more time to come up.
I’m distinguishing judgement (as in, You think you’re better than me?) from discernment (I choose not to eat in a restaurant that failed a safety inspection). Discernment is a valuable part of the writing process. Judgement just gets in the way. I say that discerningly.
Farhad is Co-Founder and Mindfulness Facilitator at Beyond Binary Consulting.
He is the author of Orientation: For the Journey of a Lifetime