What’s a shoulder thinker?

by mihai on March 26, 2011

I tend to read authors, not books.

I read (or at least consider reading) all their work, find videos, interviews, articles, bio, etc.  I want to crawl inside their head, understand their personal context, their social context, their impact on others and so on.

Then I become absorbed in their work.  I tend to study it relentlessly, hearing the same thing over and over again.  I re-read books (or more often re-listen to them), re-watch videos and so on.

The result?  I end up thinking of them as those little shoulder angels/devils in cartoons, who come forward to give me advice.  I think their thoughts.

When I had my studio in San Francisco, I would print out pictures of all my shoulder thinkers, and tape them on my wall.  I would even move them up and down, depending on how top-of-mind they were to me.  A fun visual aide.