She Writes Video Moment #2: Doodling
Contributor
Written by
Kathleen Sweeney
September 2011
Contributor
Written by
Kathleen Sweeney
September 2011

        This recent TedTalks by Sunni Brown gets at a key piece of the creative life: the need for doodling. Granted, "doodle" is a silly word (it rhymes with "noodle" so yes, fun incarnate.) But "serious" writers and artists devoting "serious" "disciplined" time to a daily writing and creative practice, might not want to admit to doodling, daydreaming, or playing around.

        Sunni Brown reveals how scribbling enhances memory, while hinting at what this oft-maligned activity means for the creative life: that many of our best ideas come from the edges of intention, the side roads, the margins, the shadows, the unexpected in-breaths of "wow, did I just draw [write] that?" Under the guise of messing around, doodling actually improves our focus. Personally, I doodle with my Flip camera, catching odd bits of urban visual--leaves gyrating on the Highline, shadows on a wall at Prince and Mott Streets, a glimpse of a singer's face in a club. Sometimes these images go to instant delete, other times they layer into video art, or visual ideas for a novel or screenplay. It doesn't really matter. It's essential to tuning in to that internal buzz called creativity.

         So, no need to excuse the spirals and tree branches and elaborate Egyptian eyes on the edges of your pages. Go ahead and scribble. And initiate the daydream sequence that becomes authentic writing.


         --Kathleen Sweeney is a web content producer (www.video-text.com), and author (Maiden USA) who teaches Media  Studies and Creativity at The New School for Public Engagement. A Preferred Provider of video services for SheWriters, she recently produced the book trailer for SheWriter Catherine Greenman's debut novel, Hooked.

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