Every once in a while I get writers block. (Okay fine, it happens often). I do a variety of things to break down my writers block. Sometimes I stare off into space and let my mind wander while I listen to music until it settles on something I can write about. Other times I have to simply start writing and see what happens. Those techniques work most of the time. When they don't, I have to resort to more drastic measures: doodling.
No, you didn't read that wrong, I did say doodling. I doodle to literally get my creative juices flowing, as well as getting my brain in the mood to focus. It allows my mind to relax and open up to new ideas that may pop up.
You don't believe that it works? Here are three riveting facts about doodling:
1. DOODLING INCREASES MEMORY
According to a study done by Jackie Andrade of the University of Plymouth in southern England, doodling aids in memory. In the study, 40 participants were asked to watch a video (an extremely boring video) and told to write down names and facts about the video as they watched. Half the participants were also given a page with square boxes on them and were told to color them in as they watched the video. The other half were not given the same page. At the end of the video, all the participants were asked to recite the names from the video. The doodlers won!
Andrade suggests that the reason for the increase in memory is because when you doodle, you don't daydream. Doodling forces the mind to use just enough energy to keep you from daydream which allows you to continue to pay attention to what is happening.
2. DOODLING INCREASES CREATIVITY
“Some of those benefits [of dooding] include increased creativity, because you're liberating your mind from traditional, linear and linguistic thinking and moving into a more organic thinking space, heightened information processing, heightened information retention and the ability to view content from a variety of different angles,” said author and doodling enthusiast, Sunni Brown, in a CNN interview.
Doodling opens up your mind to new ways of thinking! It allows you to tap into the creative factories of your brain. Not only will that show in your ridiculously awesome doodle that should be framed, but it will also come out in your writing.
3. DOODLING INCREASES FOCUS
“One way is to maintain focus on what is happening. People doodling are harnessing energy that would otherwise just dissipate, which makes it possible for them to stay present with whatever is happening and relieve boredom,” said Brown in that same CNN interview.
In the same way that doodling aids in memory, it also aids in focus. It will use up just enough energy and space in your mind to keep you from daydreaming which will allow you to remember and focus better!
So the next time you have writers block, or you're just having a hard time focusing, try doodling! Contrary to popular belief, those little drawings on the side of your notebook may make you more productive!