It doesn’t matter if you’re a writer or other creative, or a student in school or some other sort of class, or just wandering around in your own head, it’s the taking of notes that’s important if you want to remember what’s going on. There’s probably some sort of science about this, but even though I have decent research skills, I’m writing only from my own experience at the moment.
There’s something about writing notes down with pencil or pen on paper that helps me retain the information even if I never glance at those notes again. I find over and over again that the very act of writing the note — in a notebook, on a scrap of paper, or whatever is that’s often enough to help my brain find a place for that information and the way back when I want it again.
It feels to me like some sort of magic. There’s apparently a real connection between my hand writing the notes out, while I’m watching the words appear on paper, and my brain. Why else would I be apt to find that information not on the paper where I wrote it, but in my mind which will either tell me what I noted or suggest a way to rapidly find it again, without referring to the actual note itself.
I discovered this first in high school when my ‘notes’ tended to be short seemingly meaningless phrases surrounded and even covered by the initials of my newest crush coupled with his and my name combined in any number or ways. This was hopeless for going back and studying before an exam. I’d be lucky to pick out two or three words in that lovelorn mess. None the less, I’d generally pass the exam with a B or better.
When I got to college I found my note taking was still likely to be covered with either the name of the latest love of my life or by attempts at drawing trees, puppies and kittens. (I guess I was maturing some.) Although my grades slipped a bit, I was still passing.
All this come to mind this morning when I was watching a video lecture by someone trying to teach me how to write. The lecture was almost an hour long and I was bored in 22 seconds. Instead of drawing initials or kittens I began to write titles! Now titles aren’t as fun as love, sex and puppies, but they have their own use, and sometimes result in clients and/or additional cash in my pocket.
Yep, this article is one result.
Maybe the lecturer was trying to say what I always say to writers — the secret to writing is to write! Hmm… It might be worth going back for the last half of that boring video — worst case could be another dozen titles or so.
Write well and often,