J.K. Rowling scribbled down the first 40 names of characters that would appear 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 existing complexity by drawing a simple chart on whiteboard. Of course, 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 best side, although he has said to Design Observer which he had lost a really precious notebook, which contained “a drawing my then 13-year-old daughter Liz did that she claims could be the original sketch for the Citibank logo.”
Author Neil Gaiman’s notebook, who writes his books — including American Gods, The Graveyard Book, therefore the final two thirds of Coraline — by hand.
And a notebook from information designer Nicholas Felton, who visualized and recorded ten years of his life in data, and created the Reporter app.
There’s a good reason why people, that have the choice to actually use some type of computer, decide to make writing by hand an integral part of their creative process. Also it all starts with an improvement that we may easily overlook — writing by hand is quite unique of typing.
On paper along the Bones, author Natalie Goldberg advises that writing is a physical activity, and thus affected by the gear you utilize. Typing and writing by hand produce very different writing. She writes, “I have discovered that after i will be writing something emotional, i need to write it the very first time directly with hand in writing. Handwriting is more connected to the movement of the heart. Yet, whenever I tell stories, I go right to the typewriter.”
Goldberg’s observation may have a little sample size of one, but it’s an observation that is incisive. More to the point, studies in the field of psychology support this conclusion.
Similarly, authors Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer students notes that are making 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 who had taken notes with laptops performed worse on tests of both content that is factual conceptual understanding, relative to 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 pc when it comes to promises of efficiency, limitlessness, and connectivity, have returned back to writing by hand.
There are a selection of hypotheses that you can get on why writing by hand produces different results than typing, but here’s a one that is prominent emerges from the realm of practitioners:
You better understand your work
“Drawing is an easy method that i can’t otherwise grasp,” writes artist Robert Crumb in his book with Peter Poplaski for me to articulate things inside myself. To phrase it differently, Crumb draws not to ever express something already he already understand, but to produce feeling of something he doesn’t.
This brings to mind a quote often attributed to Cecil Lewis, “ We do not write to be understood; we write in order to understand. day” Or as author Jennifer Egan says into the Guardian, “The writing reveals the story for me.”
This sort of thinking — one that’s done not merely with the mind, but in addition using the hands — can be applied to all the types of fields. As an example, in Sherry Turkle’s “Life in the Screen,” she quotes a faculty member of MIT as saying:
“Students can look at the screen and work in their head as clearly as they would if they knew it in other ways, through traditional drawing for example… at it for a while without learning the topography of a site, without really getting it. Once you draw a niche site, when you place into the contour lines together with trees, it becomes ingrained in your thoughts. You started to understand the site in a real way that isn’t possible because of the computer.”
The quote continues into the notes, “That’s how you become familiar with a terrain — by tracing and retracing it, not by letting the computer ‘regenerate’ it for you.”
“You start by sketching, then chances are you do a drawing, then you make a model, and after that you go to reality — you go into the site — and then you go back to drawing,” says architect Renzo Piano in Why Architects Draw. “You build up a kind 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 milk that is making. We can see cheap essays writing service a cow making milk when it is hooked up to your milking machine, and we also understand that cows eat grass. Nevertheless the actual part where the milk is being created remains invisible.
There was an invisible part to making something new, the processes of that are obscured from physical sight by scale, certainly. But, components of everything we can see and feel, is felt through writing by hand.
Steve Jobs said in a job interview with Wired Magazine, “Creativity is things that are just connecting. Whenever you ask creative people the way they did something, they feel a little guilty simply because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s simply because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize things that are new. And also the good reason they certainly were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they usually have thought more info on their experiences than many other people.”
Viewed from Jobs’s lens, perhaps writing by hand enables people to perform some latter — think and understand more about their experiences that are own. Similar to how 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 following this understanding is clearer, is it best to come back to the pc. In the center of the 2000s, the designers at creative consultancy Landor installed Adobe Photoshop on their computers and started deploying 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 in the series, Harry Potter as well as the Order for the Phoenix, would unfold. The most obvious simple truth is that it seems exactly like a spreadsheet.
And yet, to say she could have done this regarding the spreadsheet will be a stretch. The magic isn’t into the layout, which can be just the beginning. It’s in the annotations, the circles, the cross outs, and marginalia. I understand that you can find digital equivalents to each of these tactics — suggestions, comments, highlights, and changing cell colors, but they simply don’t have the effect that is same.
Rowling writes of her original 40 characters, “It is quite strange to look at 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 these were planning to go (or where they certainly were likely to take me).”
Goldberg writes inside her book, that writing is a physical act. Perhaps creativity is a physical, analog, act, because creativity is a byproduct of being human, and humans are physical, analog, entities. And yet in our work that is creative of convention, habit, or fear, we restrict ourselves to, as a person would describe to author Tara Brach, “live from the neck up.”