This post forms part of a serialisation eventually building into a complete reference on Journaling for Creativity and the writer's notebook. One that will demonstrate how to journal in order to improve creativity and effectiveness of artists, writers or anyone needing to be creative.
When journaling for creativity, a video recording can play an important role in your entries. Videos, being visual representations of an event, feed the creative-mind directly and set up strong associations with the recorded content. A video journal entry has not only the advantage of capturing movement, by panning or using other camera movements whilst recording, three dimensional relationships between objects and their surroundings can also be captured.
The sounds of the scene will be recorded as they happen, both the foreground noises that you are focused on and any background noises being filtered from your awareness by your focus on your observations. These only become apparent during review; remember active reviewing is part of what makes journaling for creativity so powerful.
The sound recording ability also allows you to do a short verbal ‘clapper-board’ at the start of each recording. Simply state the date and a short description of what you are recording in order to link with the placeholder entry in your notebook, the combination of which allows for easier file identification, control and review.
Neat tip: Take your recordings further by vocalising your thoughts in a first person documentary style whilst you are recording.
The ordinary writer will not have the knowledge or the technology to make video recordings with the professional production values observed on the television, and in reality this is a good thing. Recordings for your creative journal are never intended to be entertainment; they are your notes for review, records of what was important at the time. If the writer tries to polish a recording, tries to add visual production standards, then essential thinking and awareness will be diverted away from observing what is important.
In the modern world, video is abundant and you do not need to carry around a dedicated video camera to take advantage of this medium, the standard digital camera's video function (provided it has sound) or smart phone are perfectly adequate. In each of these cases, purchasing the largest possible memory chip is a sound investment.
Writers, being reclusive creatures who mainly concentrate on the written word, have generally been slow in recognising the power granted to them by this visual tool. Far too often they only see video as a promotional medium, thinking that its use is limited to marketing finished projects on YouTube and facebook. This is unfortunate, because if you want to really study and to really learn the interactions between, for example, members of a group, the motion of an aged pedestrian or the vocal and physical nuances of alternative individuals, amongst others, the video recording is an unsurpassed tool.
Consider the photograph of the group above. There are a range of ages and a variety of interests that may be followed. Attempting to observe and record them all by writing or dictation alone would be impossible. The video journal can catch them all at once; the movements, the looks, the dynamics of the group as a whole and the dynamics between individuals. If whilst recording you then add an impromptu narration to this video journal, you will have captured a unique and fascinating moment in time; one that can be reviewed and any important subtleties discovered.
Tony Buzan talking about note taking, “Problems arise because people attempt to select the main headings and ideas…"
Tony Buzan, “Use Both Sides of Your Brain”
When making creativity journaling entries with a video camera, there is a significant training value for developing personal awareness. By observing the world visually, as they say “through a lens”, you are considering the whole vista before you, predominantly evaluating the scene in the right hemisphere of the brain, which holds your creative-mind. In this way, by considering what visual image, visual sequence, visual compositions are important, you are flexing and building your creative mental muscle, your powers of observation and your awareness.
How does the thought of dropping the pen in order to make a video entry in your creativity journal strike you? Is it scary, too different, interesting, or stupid? We would love to hear your thoughts about using video journaling as a medium to enhance a writer’s creativity.
Photo credit: 1881-Estanque do Milenio (Coruña), by Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias.
"Journaling Media Options: What to use to Capture Images pt2" by Andy Shackcloth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.