Daily Creativity: Part 3 – A Slow Experiment

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“The notebook is the place where you figure out what’s going on inside you or what’s rattling around. The keyboard is the place that you go to tell people about it.” — Austin Kleon in Episode 5 of Hurry Slowly
Are you a pencil and paper kinda person? Or someone who gets their creative juices flowing when they’re tapping away on their computer? Do you like old-school vinyl or are you a digital music fiend? Or, perhaps, like most people, a little of both? In today’s episode Ben and I dive deep in to a topic I’ve been excited about since beginning the experiment: analog vs digital – which is better for creativity? Before we get in to it, Ben and I talk about our experiences over the past week, as we’re now more than halfway through this month’s daily creativity Slow Experiment, and this week has brought some really interesting lessons for me personally, as well as what feels like a huge shift in the way I’m solving problems. I’ve found myself focusing more on the process rather than the output, my empathy has stepped up another level as I’ve been able to view things from different perspectives (particularly those of my kids) and excitingly, questions I’ve been pondering for months suddenly have clear solutions. This creativity thing has bigger benefits than I’d imagined! If you’re subscribed to the Slow Post you may know that Ben’s challenge this week was to do something creative for himself, without an audience, and in this poggie he shares how he’s played around with skiing switch (backwards) and reflects on the joy of truly sucking at something. Ben also identifies some of the different ways we can categorise creativity (cognitive v emotional and deliberate v spontaneous) and we share our experiences of each of these modes so far, before diving in to the big question of today’s episode:
Analog vs digital: which is better for creativity?
As a staunch advocate for pencil and paper, I’m not going to lie. I was hoping for a unanimous “analog rules” verdict in my research. It would make things so much easier! Instead what I found was that there really is no right or wrong. Our personal preference towards analog or digital is actually closely tied to how we best learn, and the truth is that everyone could probably benefit from dabbling in both means of creative expression. We discuss handwriting, Austin Kleon’s wonderful dual-desk system, note-taking on a computer vs by hand, and the current hypothesis on why some people find creative thinking difficult to do while typing (hello, me!) and others who don’t find it tough at all (hello, Ben!) in this episode. There’s a lot of juicy ideas in here that may just help you unlock the daily creative practice, or at least begin to understand your personal tendencies towards digital or analog. If you’re getting creative with us this week, why not try mixing it up again? If you’re always in analog-land, why not try creating using digital this week, and vice versa – if you’re a tech-head, why not try something a little more tactile? Don’t forget to use the hashtag #slowexperiment on Instagram if you’d like to share, and stay tuned for next week’s episode all about letting go of ideas of “good” and “perfect” and getting back to creating, just for the sake of creating.


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3 Responses to Daily Creativity: Part 3 – A Slow Experiment

  1. Love this discussion of analog and digital. I want to tell you about a podcast called Hurry Slowly by Jocelyn Glei. She interviewed Jax(his last name) about this very topic. He had much wisdom on this topic of Analog and Digital and a great book called Revenge of Analog. ( I think that’s the name). Check it out if you haven’t yet.

  2. Hi Brooke and Ben.
    I’m writing in response to one of your podcasts, you mentioned about wanting people to visit your site rather than the Facebook site or instagram site. Rather than reading a blog post and maybe commenting underneath, have you ever considered adding a forum to your site with open discussions, let the readers connect with each other with links to all the great participants who you have on the podcast? I personally would much rather be involved in a forum directly on your site than from Facebook as I prefer not to venture into social media very often.

    Kind Regards

  3. I found this discussion re: analog vs digital fascinating. When it comes to a diary/planner/calendar, I just cannot convert to digital because my brain just can’t conceptualise time without seeing it set out on paper.

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