What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? If you have Dyslexia or are close to someone who does; you realize this is more accurate than most people give it credit for. It is said a verbal thinker may have 2 to 5 thoughts per second. A dyslexic person is considered a picture thinker and would have 32 thoughts per second. Picture thinking is estimated to be, overall, 400 to 2,000 times faster than verbal thinking. This information comes from: "The Gift of Dyslexia" by Ronald D. Davis.
Some refer to this as right brain verses left brain thinking. I will confess I enjoy photography almost as much as writing. In both cases, how you choose to produce your creative endeavors depends on how you think about it. When a verbal thinker learns the word "CAT" for example; he has basically 4 thoughts, each letter and what they sound like together. The picture thinker on the other hand; will see the letters in the word "CAT" in at least 40 different ways, before even thinking of sounds. From an outside perspective; it seems that the picture thinker is handicapped because he or she is so much slower, but in reality they are putting MUCH more effort into the process.
Having worked for a nation-wide portrait studio before, I remember being limited to 7 shots per portrait sitting. Even if I only shot one subject, it felt like my hands were being tied. A picture thinker could easily shoot 30 to 40 photos of the same subject and not blink. Verbal thinkers tend to be very analytical in nature. Obviously all writers use verbal skills, but that doesn't mean they are all verbal thinkers.
Look on any Facebook writing group, and you will see someone, asking how many words are in a chapter, or how many pages in a chapter, or how many chapters in a novel, etc. They seem to think if you follow some magic formula the story will automatically write itself. They get so absorbed in the technical aspects, they tend to stop thinking creatively.
Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, and Henry Winkler were all successful NOT in spite of having dyslexia; but largely in part because of having it. Because they were picture thinkers they had greater vision (no pun intended). You too can share in that vision by releasing yourself from your own limitations.
Some people take portraits by centering the subject and having them look straight ahead and smile. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it's not the only way. I could write several articles about the alternatives, but that will be for another day. Some writers plan out every detail before they write a single word and write consecutively, chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, etc. But, it is also not the only way. Some writers write the ending first. Some write a certain amount of words per day. Some listen to music in the background, some do not. Some only write at a certain time each day. Some will write five minutes here or ten minutes there. If you get stuck, don't stop writing, just try something different.
It is human nature that we all learn by doing. I invite you to step outside your comfort zone and write more than you ever have in 24 hours before. This process will help transform you from a verbal thinker into a picture thinker. You might be asking how it does that? Let me give you an example.
Back when I taught photography one of my favorite assignments was to take pictures of a mailbox. The rules were simple, you had to shoot 36 photos of the same mailbox and each shot had to be uniquely different. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, let's see... you can shoot left, right, front, back, up or down... only 30 more to go. Time after time, when it came to a class review, the best pictures were always the last five or six pictures taken. Why? Because the first 20 or 30 shots everybody kept using their traditional ways of thinking. Once they started thinking outside the box, (no pun intended), the visual thinking kicked in.
Once you master how you think, you realize being creative is not just for the lucky few. You can finish that chapter, you can give a more detailed description, you can leave clues without giving away the answer. It's not a matter of doing it as you have always done it before, it's a matter of thinking about things, differently than you have before. When you get to the point where thinking different is the norm, your perspective will change and writer's block will be a thing of the past. Remember, as a man thinketh, so is he (or her) depending on your point of view. There is no right or wrong, but... there is always another way of thinking about things. Keep an open mind and keep on writing.
Written by: Tedric Garrison 12-10-17
Award-winning writer/photographer Tedric Garrison has 40 years experience in both areas of expertise. As a Graphic Art Major, he has a unique perspective on the Elements of Design and how they relate to photography. His photo eBook; Finding Your Creative Edge in Photography proves creativity CAN be taught. Tedric shares both his writing and photography skills at his new website: http://writephotos.weebly.com