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A Shoutout to Scribbling & Doodling

A picture paints a thousand words

There are many well-documented ways to be creative. In a previous post I have lauded the benefits of regimented and structured creativity as a means to bolster alternative thinking. Today I would like to do quite the opposite. Today I would like to speak out in favour of free-handing and free-styling creativity. All that is needed is a blank space and a pen.

For anyone who has worked with me, it is no secret that I am a doodler. I tend to explain myself to others who may not be familiar, before offence is taken. I tell them that doodling helps me to listen, to hear and to assimilate information. It also – on some occasions – unleashes associations, ideas and questions that flash through my mind while discussion is taking place. Sometimes my doodles are merely geometric shapes, whirls and squiggles. Other times they represent red lights, eureka moments and the proverbial penny dropping. My question is: what if we could plug into the latter? What if we could harness the power of doodling and scribbling?

Yesterday I sat with someone who is close to me. He has this idea that he is trying to process. This idea is a solution to a particular problem. Instinctively he knows it is important, but his mind was so full of words, sentences and explanations that he just couldn't seem to get anything coherent out. So I took an erasable marker, found a glass surface, and I started to doodle. I drew buildings, people and clouds. I drew conveyor belts, computers and tubes. I drew arrows, stars and boxes. I drew and I drew while he spoke to me. My doodles began to tell the story of a significant and interesting beginning of a vision. True, my hands were inky and black by the end of the afternoon. True, my glass surface is choc-a-bloc with scribbles and can't be used at this point until the vision is transferred to a more traditional venue. However, the old adage proved to be truer than ever – a picture paints a thousand words. All it took was for me to embrace the inner doodler and let her run free. Respect for doodling. Kudos to Scribbling. Long may creativity reign.

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