On Doodles and Improved Cognition

Just read this article in the The Atlantic about the cognitive benefits of doodling — namely that drawing is a form of thinking, which gives the brain new ways to process ideas. Yes, that’s right, the time I spent drawing rooftop water tanks during pitch meetings for Studio 360 was secretly making me a journalistic idea-generating beast. Or something to that effect.

Actual author doodles.

I’ve seen a few articles over the last few years about the value of putting a pencil to paper — whether doodling, brainstorming, or taking notes — like this piece from the New York Times last summer. The idea being that the physical act of writing stimulates the brain in ways to increase experimentation, improve focus, and better retain information. So basically everything writers (or anyone trying to write) complain about when staring at a blank screen.

Planning out my thesis play, the unsolicited comedy sequel to Lord of the Flies.

I’ve been a convert to pen-and-paper writing for a few years now, and I love it. Obviously I turn to the keyboard eventually, but when I’m developing an idea or plotting out a sketch — it’s the old Ultra-Fine G2 and Leuchtterm 1917 for me. And drawing has always been a hobby (occasionally documented online). So I’m fairly stoked that I can now chalk up my latest visual pun as valuable cognitive enhancement.

I can feel my brain getting stronger!

So, the next time you’re stuck in a meeting, grab your pen and get doodling. You will be benefiting yourself and your employer. Also, and this is key, drawing is fun.

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