When I need to think through an issue, I write. And when I do that I feel I’m having a dialogue with myself. I write. I challenge. I rewrite. I re-challenge. Within or across drafts. Dynamically or with reflection. At length or fleetingly. As a means to an end, or as an end in itself. It both clarifies and exposes the need for clarification. For me.
When I asked on Twitter I got a couple of useful references to similar things:
Edit: I followed up on this post later.