Musings, Writing

Logical vs creative

The other day, I tweeted in despair while watching a gameshow on BBC1 (Pointless) as they did a round containing anagrams. I can’t do anagrams. My brain just can’t work them out especially at speed and it got me thinking about how I fumble with anything logical. I applied for a job once and had to do a logic test, I stared in agony at the questions and needless to say didn’t get past that stage. My aversion to all things logical also includes numbers. Maths was always my worst subject at school – I managed to scrape a C grade in my GCSE’s, whereas English was one of my favourites. I just think I lack the logical chip.

Perhaps this is because I’m more of a creative person. I’m a writer and can create stories and imagine people and places in a way that other people can’t. There has long been a debate about whether there are two sides to our brains – a logical (the left) versus a creative side (the right). I found this amusing test to see which side you use the most. Check it out here. Using this test, I’m using the right – creative – side more. I like this idea – it means that my frustrations are solving puzzles or working with numbers are down to the way that my brian sees the world. And in my line of work, being able to use my creative side more has pretty big benefits.

But sometimes I envy those that can tap into logic and see the world more clearly in black and white. I’m sure that part of my creative stance leads me to over-analyse things and be over-sensitive when a more logical person could maybe solve the problem or brush the issue aside more easily. I’m a worry wart. I’m not sure if this is the down side to tapping into creativity over logic, or just me πŸ™‚

Perhaps the very spilt between logic and creative means we will naturally envy those who can use the opposite side to us. We tend to always want what we can’t have! But if I ever had a choice, I know I’d stick with my creative brain Β – if it’s the reason why I want to and can write then I’m very grateful for it πŸ™‚

Are you logical or creative? Do you think it’s possible to be both?



43 thoughts on “Logical vs creative”

  1. Oh, I’ll never forget the time I answered this riddle that my maths teacher asked his class every year. I was only the second person to do it! Still, it took me 20 minutes and I’ve never been as good at them since…
    Stories are my thing, characters and settings and ideas, but I am also very logical about people’s motives, feelings and reasons.
    I don’t know which I am – especially since that test showed me the spinning lady changing directions!

  2. I was terrible at maths in school too. I’m not sure what I am. I think I might be both, but it depends on what kind of logic we’re talking. I think I could call myself a lateral thinker. Kind of combines both, yeah? Mind you, it’s a proven fact that musicians are really great at maths and science because it uses the same side of the brain, but I would call music a creative art, so that complicates things, no? Very interesting to think about.

  3. Interesting test. At first I saw her spinning clockwise, but now I can make her switch direction when I want to and have her spin the opposite way (at first I thought maybe it was a trick video and it just starts spinning the other way after a while, but apparently not). I suck at maths too. Ridiculously simple sums baffle me, and I often find myself doing sums in a really complicated way. But I’d much rather be a writer than a mathematician πŸ˜‰

  4. She spun clockwise for me! Like Jessica said, it’s very interesting to think about – I have always considered myself more creative than logical. I’ve played music my whole life, yet I’m better at reading music and understanding rhythm than I am at creating music…not sure if those are left brain traits! I do think some people use both sides of the brain almost equally.

  5. She spun mostly clockwise for me, but I can also make her go counter-clockwise. it’s hard, though, to force my brain to do it, though. I guess I do have some logic to me, but it’s buried.

  6. The lady was spinning clockwise for me. I thought it must be a trick….how could she possibly be spinning any direction but clockwise?? But I read through the comments and other people described how they got her to spin the other direction (looking at the shadow of her feet, etc). After reading that and really concentrating, I was able to see her spinning counter-clockwise. Maybe that means I can learn logical things, but they don’t come to me naturally? I have to study hard for them.

  7. I think it is possible to be both and I’d say I am a bit of both. I was never good at maths either – always just average. However I was good at English and Science, too – I guess science could be seen as logical.
    I did the test and the first half she was going clockwise, but then she changed and spun anti-clockwise. Weird, no?

  8. I’m analytical, as many lawyers are, and I function within a world of rules and logical relationships. In my writing, I am free to be creative in how these rules apply to different scenarios. I probably have a harder time reading/writing work that requires a suspension of disbelief, but that’s the only drawback in my opinion.

  9. The same story for me. My brother has always been very good in Logic things and although I am happy that I am creative, sometimes I get so over sensitive and feel like nobody can understand me and my feelings and how I am… I think I am one of those highly sensitive people… and sometimes, like you, I envy those logical people who can just come straightly to the point and solve the problem without all this fuss puss…It would be so lovely to be creative and also manage all the logical things but I guess it’s impossible to be perfect!

  10. Math was my absolute worst subject until it came to algebra! I LOVE IT. I could do algebraic equations until the sun went down and that’s saying something. I do love anagrams though! We used to do them in math class and I found them wonderful :] I did that test and at first the dancer was spinning clockwise but the second I looked at the shadow she started spinning anti-clockwise :] I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not though! Haha.

  11. This test is so cool! Like everyone I saw her clockwise first, then switched her, and switched her back again. I think I use my whole brain. I did a brain test once that showed my thinking was exactly in the middle between left and right. And also, right in the middle for auditory and visual learning. It was VERY interesting. Sometimes, I think that is why I get so confused over things. I see it logically and creatively. Then, my brain battles each other. Sheez! I suck at math too.

  12. When I look straight on the woman, she is most definitely moving clockwise. However, if I’m just glancing at her quickly or not looking straight at her, she is going the opposite way. So, I’d say I mainly use my creative brain, but can be logical when necessary??? Cool test.

  13. I do think it’s possible to be highly logical but also very creative. It does take work to develop both sides of your mind. I studied business but loved to write poetry. I never felt like I had to choose one part of me over the other. I think there is a natural ability in certain areas and a developed skill in others. Numbers took practice but then they came easier to me. πŸ™‚

  14. Ahh, I had to stare at the woman for a bit before I decided. At first I saw her moving clockwise, then I was all, “wait a minute…” and saw her moving anti-clockwise, and I started to scroll down and then I saw her moving clockwise again!

    I like to think of myself as creative, though I do rely on logic often. Unlike you, math was actually one of my favourite subjects and I had fun solving all the problems! For some reason, however, I never did too well on my exams. A mystery… =[

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