Thinking thoughts vs. watching thoughts

When I do thought downloads, my first few thoughts may have been in my brain at the time, but then each sentence I write down triggers a ‘new’ thought and not necessarily one I had been thinking. This doesn’t seem like the same thing as emptying out my brain to see what thoughts are in there. I do still find useful thoughts to work on, but am I missing out on the awareness piece and becoming a better watcher? Thanks very much.