Monday, 2 July 2012

Writing – Where Creativity Dances with Logic.


"The mind is everything. What you think you become." 
– Buddha
(Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz)

The above image is a beautiful depiction of the way the brain processes information. However, one immediate caveat needs to be underlined; although the left hemisphere of the brain can be thought of as linear (logical) and the right, holistic (creative), the actual processing of information involves both sides of the brain (although it’s more localised to one side or the other depending on the task).
The left side is where we sequentially process our lives... we write lists, create plans, etc. The right is where we let our hair down... we think randomly, fantasise and listen to our intuition, etc.
If ever there was a skill that uses both sides, it’s writing. It utilises our left hemisphere’s skills of planning, organising and linguistics; and the creative skills of our of right to imagine stories, have random flashes of inspiration, and if we’re very lucky have characters who speak back to us! Like other creative forms of expression such as music and painting, it’s the interplay between two cognitive areas that makes it so endlessly fascinating and a pleasure to pursue. Writing isn’t just an activity, it’s a highly personal exploration of  the internal landscape of our minds. No wonder it's so addictive as a form of expression.

6 comments:

  1. As you say, writers need both parts working - but often one is more dominant at different times. I have to say I need to shut my analytical side up when creating!.
    Pity the image makes the Left looking boring - it isn't, just different.

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  2. One of the odder side-effects of learning to let my right-brain dominate for the imagining-on-paper which is a first draft, is that I've become a phonetic speller, commiting homophone-confusions which I'd blush to quote - and would never have committed before.

    I assume it's because my right brain is in charge of how words work - which is aurally/orally, of course, since we were all speakers/listeners before we were writers/readers - whereas left brain is in charge of spelling (as well as all the editorial jobs that will come later, when I need to stand outside my work and judge and edit it as if someone else had written it.)

    p.s.Blogger seems to want me to be anonymouse, but it's actually http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/

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  3. just found you on twitter and decided to check out your blog/website--I like it! never thought about my writing that way...

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  4. I think it's where that internal struggle sometimes comes from, creativity v logic... but of course it's precisely that interaction that makes writing so rewarding.

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  5. What a great visual for right brain/left brain! I agree that writing utilizes both at different stages in th.e writing process, which is probably what makes it so fulfilling.

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  6. I love that image, Elizabeth. Mercedes produced a series of them that are well worth looking at:

    http://creativecriminals.com/print/mercedes-left-right-brain/

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