A few weeks ago I came across two articles on the importance of external physicality of thinking, dreaming, and writing. I always feel a little silly and archaic spending my time writing things out by hand and drawing little pictures in the corners. A serious writer would work straight into the keyboard, and a serious teacher would make a neat powerpoint, but no, for me it’s all illegible scroll and funny little doodles.
According to Maria Konnikova from the New York Times Science section, handwriting matters. It makes learning easier by allowing us to physically symbolize what we’re thinking and make a more solid record in our minds:
“When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated,” said Stanislas Dehaene, a psychologist at the Collège de France in Paris. “There is a core recognition of the gesture in the written word, a sort of recognition by mental simulation in your brain.
And this contributes not just in memorization, but also in creating new ideas, even if – especially if? – you have to write the same thing over and over again.
The second article is from the WordPress Blog Standing Ovation, Seated which states that Doodling is Dreaming. I like to visualize my characters, even when I’m doing philosophy. I think in stories, and pictures help.
Kids get down to drawing right where and when they start dreaming, be it wall paper or floor boards. Most of their artworks get destroyed by angry parents who can’t understand why their daughters and sons could not use proper paper. Because paper was ten feet away from the place where and when the dream “happened”, that’s why.
I suppose this makes a little more sense when I’m writing children’s stories, but it’s good to know that my handwriting and doodling serve some higher purpose.