Planners & Discoverers

The other day I read a very interesting paper by Daniel Chandler, “The
Phenomenology of Writing by Hand”. There, he
divides writers into two groups:
Planners, who tend to think of writing primarily as a means of
recording or communicating ideas, which they already have clear in their
minds; and
Discoverers, who tend to experience writing primarily as a way of
“discovering” what they want to say.
The Planners would be Thinking personalities and the Discoverers Feeling
personalities. I see myself as a Discoverer and this quote is my mantra:
“Don’t think and then write it down. Think on paper” (Harry Kemelman). When
I am stuck with a personal issue nothing helps me to find my way out as
much as just sitting down and writing about it.
These two different groups of writers also use different tools for writing:
Planners often prefer writing on a computer and Discoverers write mainly by
hand on paper.
As a Discoverer I find writing by hand essential, at least in the first stages
of my work. For me the act of writing by hand is, indeed, a symbiosis of
physical and intellectual processes: it is as if my thoughts are shaped by
my hands in a very direct, palpable way. Also, I remember things better when
I have written them down by hand; I am simply much more deeply connected to
what I write.
When using the computer, writing no longer is a true bodily act. Instead, there
is a separation of mind and body in a sterile way, and the text I see on the
screen no longer feels intimately mine. Just like a hand written letter feels
much more personal than an e-mail or a text message.
To a Discoverer, the process is at least as important as the product. It is
in the physical act of writing, re-writing and correcting that my text develops,
takes shape and finally expresses what I want to convey to the reader. The final
product, of course, has to enter the computerised world – how else would I reach
you? (I would love to send “blog letters” around the world, seeing my writings
flow out in a beautiful wave of ink, working with calligraphy on exquisite paper
in delicate colours…)
Now, it would be interesting to know what you are: a Planner or a Discoverer…?
Maybe you have any good ideas on how to get creativity flowing and become an even
better Discoverer?
PS You can find Chandler’s book “The Act of Writing” via this link

As a Discoverer I love discovering new places 🙂 (Santa Marta, Colombia)

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