"Visual Thinking" and Me

Explaining how I think, for better or worse.

I read a book recently by Temple Grandin called “Thinking in Pictures”. A summary of this book would basically be a description of her own experiences with visual thinking and living with autism. As someone who can only read autobiographies and non-fiction books, it was really interesting. Similarly, as someone who thinks visually it was pretty interesting.

As anyone who knows me can agree, my mind works in weird and mysterious ways. I can ramble on about subjects for hours, get focused on one singular thing for days and maybe finish half of the projects I always start. And that’s only what other people can see, for me my mind is basically just a continuous loop of A Day in the Life by The Beatles. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it’s whatever the fuck A Day in the Life is.

Anyway, back to the actual subject of this thing. Visualisation/Visual Thinking.

I consider myself a relatively creative person, and like most ‘creative’ people, I don’t think I’m very good at it. I’m basically a hesitant jack-of-all-trades. Sure, I can do all of these things, but am I really good at them? One thing I can do pretty well though is visualise things in my head.

I'm aware most people "see things" in their head, and I'm hardly describing a ground-breaking unique experience. I saw this exercise one time about visualising an apple or something, and found out through that that there is an actual condition where people can't visualise things, which I really don't understand. Anyway, for me, when I listen to music, I often visualise really vivid music videos for the songs I listen to. I can’t really describe them, as otherwise it would turn into a nonsensical brain dump. I have a weird talent for visualising most rooms/places I’ve ever been in, although that might just be me having a good memory. For example, I can still remember the exact seating plan of my Year 7 tutor room, despite not having been in that room in over 6 years.

I can also visualise drawings I want to do, animations I want to make and films I want to shoot. That last one comes in really handy when I want to make a photographic storyboard.

I’m realising I probably sound really arrogant, like some artist who won’t shut up about how unique and special they are, but I’m only describing how I think. Again, I’m pretty sure other people think visually, and if they don’t then I don’t get them, similarly to how I don’t understand people who don’t have an internal monologue or obsessive interests.

I’m going to end this abruptly now, as I don’t know how to stop typing or end this in a cohesive way, so I’ll just stop.