Posted in Stories

Doodling: Scribble absentmindedly, Stress relief and Creativity

Today I am going off-topic – not really, you’ll see – and discussing doodling.

Webster defines a doodle as “an aimless or casual scribble, design or sketch.” Sounds like a waste of time, correct? We’ll see about that. I do not view doodling as art, but many have made it artistic. If you perform a Duck-Duck-Go search for “Doodling+images” you find artwork…. don’t let that discourage you.

I am a doodler from way back. When I was a high school student in an Analytic Geometry class, I would doodle in the margins of my notebook. The teacher collected said notebooks to assess our “note-taking skills” for which we received a grade. Upon return, mine always included a comment about “doodling less and note more,” since I got an “A” in the class…. Anyway, isn’t this the dumbest thing to remember (guess I can thank the doodling)?

I credit the genesis of this post to the bloggers at Pam Alison Knits, and Your Friendly Malaysian Writer. I was discussing the use of outlines with Stuart and mentioned I don’t use outlines, I start with an idea and let it run wild, developing the outline as I go relying on imagination and inspiration. With Pam, we chatted about journaling and the use of stickers, NO stickers, doodle instead. WOW an epiphany, so I decided to reproduce a recent doodle focusing on the process (inspiration and imagination).

My Doodling

Changes in my “job” have precipitated the need to make use of journals to “plan” my week and manage tasks. I often doodle in the journal, or on scrap paper, or on whatever is handy.

On a Monday not long ago, I was preparing a to-do list and simply wrote down the word “Monday.” Several minutes later I decided Mondays should be banned, thus the “prohibited” circle (that is a pretty good freehand circle – don’t you agree). BTW, all my doodling is done with fountains.

Later that morning, while aimlessly updating the journal I decided the “ban Mondays circle” would make a great poster. Thus I boxed in the circle and made the decision the poster should be supported by a fictitious group the “Work Week Liberation Front” and of course a peace sign.

Quite happy with myself, and focusing on the doodle, I thought, should the sign be carried by an angry mob of stick people with pitchforks and torches or simply a sign attached to a post. As an angry mob was way more effort, and no mob would incorporate a peace sign. I decided it was best to nail the sign to a post.

A tattered second sign proclaiming my love of Mondays seemed in order. Not sure what the non-smilie face is, maybe a button/pin someone stuck to the sign.

This brings us to the completed doodle. Clearly, not artwork but I enjoyed the escape from the doldrums of a work week (full of none productive meetings) and happy with the results.

Stress Relief & Memory Recall

What a surprise, it appears doodling offers health benefits, primarily stress release. It is said that our brains work better with the structure of coherent stories, but sometimes there are gaps in these stories. Doodling helps fill these gaps by activating your brain’s “unfocus” synapses, giving your “focus” synapses a break, resulting in increased creativity and problem-solving. Doodling has also been shown to increase memory recall by as much as 29%. Feel free to doodle away during that next “important” conference call, plus it makes you look like you are taking copious notes.

Are you feeling “stuck,” can’t concentrate, or is your mind is wandering … it’s time to doodle.

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I'm a loser as my wife likes to tell me, I enjoy researching dead cousins and playing with fountain pens.

12 thoughts on “Doodling: Scribble absentmindedly, Stress relief and Creativity

    1. I scribble, doodle, make flowcharts etc on scrap paper. When I used to work in an office I had a colleague ask me “what the Hell is that?” I’m working here….. sorry you can’t follow it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Back in the day, I was a doodler, Danny. Now that I spend most of my time on my computer, doodling is a thing of the past, mostly. But I totally agree that sometimes the brain needs a shift of focus into a different form of expression in order to rest and refresh. I tend to switch from writing books to making images for my books, working the visual muscles and applying a different sort of creativity. It gives me a much-needed break and yet still feels productive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The iPad gets most of my free time while the work computer gets the daytime. I journal digitally, but cannot break the habit of making a quick note on a piece of paper, back of an envelope, or whatever is handy. Doodling is the natural next step for me. I also like flow charts or mind maps and they are best when hand-drawn. Thanks for visiting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Doodling has been historical for myself too. Way back to early school days. It does, as you state here, help my mind to both focus and de-stress. I tend to start a central image and then add as the pen/mind expands into subsequent imagery. Testing and keeping the ink flow alive by using each of the fountain pens one after the other with 3 simple written observations. Pen name/pen ink supply mechanics/pen nib at top of page is also a nice exercise. Writing then takes on different styles allowing inherent doodling underneath too.

    I’m coming out a wedding weekend attendance and catching Covid from that visit. So haven’t been too great over the last couple of days. Still rough. Just catching up on a few of my favourite bloggers to make me feel more motivated. Great post again. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Danny. The impact, re: symptoms was a bit of an awful ride. My wife has worse and her cough is most troubling as it continues after the other symptoms. Nurse? I feel that our daily meetings with various bacterial, fungal and viral diseases on the wards helped combat stuff thrown at us. But this new phenomena can catch out even a robust internal body’s defence system. I have now found out the hard way! Ah well. Feeling brighter now. May sooth the senses today with a bit of fountain pen or dip nib writing. Or maybe a potter in the garden. Saw some beautiful colourful A perfect thistles in the flower arrangements at that wedding. Close study shows them to be very beautiful. A perfect companion to the Sunflower. They do bite and scratch a fair bit though don’t they? 😊 All the best and cheers for the kind thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

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