Last Thursday, in a 1-1/2 hours session at the Free Speech Movement Cafe, I had one of the most productive spurts of work-oriented creativity in a while. There’s something incredibly freeing about sitting before a pad of blank paper with several pens, some-multicolored, letting my mind wander in structured serendipity. At some point, I might scan in some of my “mind maps”/”cognitive maps”/scribbles to show better what I’m trying to do on paper that I have yet to pull off on a computer. I’m not one to insist that I’ll be able to fully replace paper with digital media such as some researchers are aiming to. I like paper and pens and pencils too much to throw them out. And I skeptical about embedding digital technology into pen and paper fully — though I’m prepared to be wrong on that front.
While I’m excited about my semi-verbal, visually situated, personally meaningful, even colorful mind maps, I’ve also been anxious to return to writing on my weblogs and in many other different forums. I have found writing to be an equally important way to sort out what’s really going on in my head. There’s writing to myself — and then there’s writing for other people. Of course, writing for others can take on many forms, but I have found the free form writing of my wiki and blog to be very liberating. There’s an energy there that I often lose in more formal writing.
So what’s the bottom line here? I will write more — that’s all I can hope to do. And as I write more, I hope that quality of expression and depth of thought will gradually increase.