J.K. Rowling scribbled down the first 40 names of characters that could can be found in Harry Potter in a paper notebook. J.J. Abrams writes his drafts that are first a paper notebook. Upon his return to Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs first cut through the complexity that is existing drawing an easy chart on whiteboard. Needless to say, they’re not the only ones…
Here’s the notebook that belongs to Pentagram partner Michael Bierut. All of the pages in the notebook resemble the right side, that he had lost a really precious notebook, which contained “a drawing my then 13-year-old daughter Liz did that she claims may be the original sketch when it comes to Citibank logo. although he has said to Design Observer”
Author Neil Gaiman’s notebook, who writes his books — including American Gods, The Graveyard Book, in addition to final two thirds of Coraline — by hand.
And a notebook from information designer Nicholas Felton, who recorded and visualized ten years of his life in data, and developed the Reporter app.
There’s a good reason why people, who possess the possibility to actually use a pc, elect to make writing by hand part of their creative process. Also it all starts with a difference that we may easily overlook — writing by hand is very unique of typing.
On paper Down the Bones, author Natalie Goldberg advises that writing is a activity that is physical and thus impacted by the equipment you utilize. Typing and writing by hand produce very writing that is different. She writes, I am writing something emotional, I must write it the first time directly with hand on paper“ I have found that when. Handwriting is more connected to the movement for the heart. Yet, whenever I tell stories, I go right to the typewriter.”
Goldberg’s observation might have a small sample measurements of one, however it’s an incisive observation. More to the point, studies in the field of psychology support this conclusion.
Similarly, authors Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer students making notes, either by laptop or by hand, and explored how it affected their memory recall. Inside their study published in Psychological Science, they write, “…even when permitted to review notes after a week’s delay, participants that has taken notes with laptops performed worse on tests of both factual content and conceptual understanding, in accordance with participants that has taken notes longhand.”
All have felt the difference in typing and writing by hand while psychologists figure out what actually happens in the brain, artists, designers, and writers. Many who originally eagerly adopted the computer when it comes to promises of efficiency, limitlessness, and connectivity, have returned back once again to writing by hand.
There are a variety of hypotheses which exist on why writing by hand produces different results than typing, but here’s a prominent one that emerges from the world of practitioners:
“Drawing is an easy method in my situation to articulate things inside myself that I can’t otherwise grasp,” writes artist Robert Crumb in the book with Peter Poplaski. Put simply, Crumb draws to not express something already he already understand, but to create sense of something he does not.
This brings to mind a quote often attributed to Cecil Day Lewis, “ We do not write to be understood; we write in order to understand.” Or as author Jennifer Egan says to your Guardian, “The writing reveals the story in my opinion.”
This sort of thinking — one that’s done not just aided by the mind, but in addition because of the tactil hands — can be used to all the sorts of fields. As an example, in Sherry Turkle’s “Life regarding the Screen,” she quotes a faculty member of MIT as saying:
“Students can glance at the screen and work at it for a time without learning the topography of a website, without really setting it up inside their head as clearly because they would when they knew it in other ways, through traditional drawing for example…. Whenever you draw a site, when you place in the contour lines therefore the trees, it becomes ingrained in your thoughts. You started to know the site in a real way that isn’t possible aided by the computer.”
The quote continues into the notes, “That’s how you get to know a terrain — by retracing and tracing it, not by allowing the computer ‘regenerate’ it for you personally.”
“You start by sketching, then you definitely do a drawing, you then make a model, and then you head to reality — you are going to your site — and then you go back to drawing,” says architect Renzo Piano in Why Architects Draw. “You build a kind up of circularity between drawing and making after which back again.”
In the book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, author Gordon MacKenzie likened the creative process to 1 of a cow making milk. We can see a cow making milk when it’s hooked up to your milking machine, and then we understand that cows eat grass. Nevertheless the part that is actual the milk will be created remains invisible.
There is an invisible part to making something new, the processes of that are obscured from physical sight by scale, certainly. But, parts of what we can see and feel, is felt through writing by hand.
Steve Jobs said in a job interview with Wired Magazine, “Creativity is just connecting things. Whenever you ask creative people the way they did something, they feel just a little guilty because they didn’t really get it done, they just saw something. It seemed obvious for them after a while. That’s since they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new stuff. Together with reason these were in a position to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than many other people.”
Viewed from Jobs’s lens, perhaps writing by hand enables people to do the latter — think and understand more info on their experiences that are own. Just like the way the contours and topography can ingrain themselves in an architect’s mind, experiences, events, and data can ingrain themselves when writing down by hand.
Only after this understanding is clearer, will it be better to return to the computer. In the middle of the 2000s, the designers at creative consultancy Landor installed Adobe Photoshop on their computers and started using it. General manager Antonio Marazza tells author David Sax:
J.K. Rowling used this piece of lined paper and pen that is blue plot out how the fifth book when you look at the series, Harry Potter additionally the Order of the Phoenix, would unfold. The essential obvious truth is that it appears to be just like a spreadsheet.
And yet, to state she might have done this from the spreadsheet will be a stretch. The magic isn’t in the layout, which can be only the start. It’s when you look at the annotations, the circles, the cross outs, and marginalia. I realize that there are digital equivalents to each among these tactics — suggestions, comments, highlights, and changing cell colors, nevertheless they simply don’t have the same effect.
Rowling writes of her original 40 characters, “It is very strange to check out the list in this tiny notebook now, slightly water-stained by some forgotten mishap, and covered in light pencil scribblings…while I was writing these names, and refining them, and sorting them into houses, I experienced no clue where they certainly were planning to go (or where these were likely to take me).”
Goldberg writes in her book, that writing is a physical act. Perhaps creativity is a physical, analog, act, because creativity is a byproduct to be human, and humans are physical, analog, entities. And yet within our creative work, out of convention, habit, or fear, we restrict ourselves to, as a person would describe to author Tara Brach, “live from the neck up.”