Ever see or hear something that gives you an idea? Do you write it down? Do it. Many people keep a journal. I don’t. I still write things down, I just do it differently. I am unorganized but I still write things down for reference later. Here’s why.
1. It wakes up my mind to the world around me. If I am prepared to write things down, I need to have something worth writing down. I pay more attention to everything. This helps me to be more creative.
2. It makes sure that I usually have some kind of a writing instrument around. This can be useful for lending it to people when they need it.
3. The act of writing something down engages different areas of the brain: motor control, written language, composition skills, visual processing and comprehension, visual memory. All this ensures that it will be remembered better.
4. Demonstrating the act of writing gives other people the impression that I am a studious and attentive person. That encourages others to pay attention to what they are saying. This helps me to hear more things worth writing down.
5. Other people notice that I am recording things and they may ask me about it later. Discussing my ideas will enhance the likelihood that I will remember them later.
6. It changes my listening skills to be able to parcel things in smaller packages. If I want to write down a note about something, I will try to snip out a phrase, image or thought that I can save for later. I don’t think in big sweeping imagery or large, complex concepts. I look for those quotes or sound-bites that I find useful. This also teaches me to speak plainly in small take-home packages that others will find useful.
Did you notice that all these advantages have nothing to do with keeping the notes in a journal? I can never remember where I put my notes and sometimes I will rewrite them (to fuse them into memory) and then throw them away because I know that I will inevitably lose them. I told you I do it differently. Some of you will keep a journal. Great. Keep doing that. But you can still benefit from journal writing or note writing even if you don’t do it the same way as you expected.
Did you hear a Table Topic that you can make into a speech? Write it down. Did you see an unusual car color? Write it down. Did you find a good place to build a zip-line? Write it down. Did you hear a strange bird that went “Twee-wee-wee-twip”? Write it down. Did you think of a better way to bag groceries? Write it down.
This is the practice of Creativity.