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Brain function and the writing process are my passion and my life’s work.
I have studied the brain for years. I researched head injuries and the effects of neurotransmitters in arthritis, not knowing, as I kept my head down in the research building plugging in neurotransmitter formulas to aid in an answer, that I would be contracting R.A. and Lupus s.l.e. in my thirties. Life is ironic.
But finding this amazing infographic from Apple Copywriting (a site you must visit), was like coming home. The occipital, parietal and frontal lobes and their workings are infused into my memory. Broca’s and Wernick’s areas are my areas of study; like old friends.
In the Wayback Machine, here is a story on conquering procrastination that I wrote some time ago. The research I cited and the tools provided seemed to help many writers. Hopefully, you can find some benefit to apply to your writing.
This, kids, is why we must use evocative words for all of the senses. It’s why Jesus spoke to us in parables. These stories have been with us for over two thousand years. We are Wired for Story, as Lisa Cron, the author of this great novel has famously said. I will share with you soon the mapping software I use to highlight the areas I need to hit more and the processes I make habit in order to add content to my story that comes up in the course of the day. I am always writing, even if not actively. The fleeting thoughts that tie the plot points together or help make that secondary character come to life in one sentence, that’s the writing life. That is what I live for, and I’m sure you feel the same way.
I do all of this so I don’t forget. So my story will be memorable.
In fact, Margo Fritz, writing from Cornell happily recounts “the first time [she] realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge”.
Stranger than fiction
In Block 3 I took Stranger than Fiction: Creative Non-Fiction Writing About the Sciences. It was taught by Sandra Beasley, a visiting professor and author of a memoir and cultural history of food allergies called “Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl,” as well as two collections of poetry.
This was the first time I realized how beautifully science and creative writing can merge.
Some tools of the trade.
To help in that area, I head to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. You can see within the link that I was working on an evocative analogy for the time needed for reflection and the growth leading to a freer and more beautiful existence. The process I was looking for is in the link and is now one of my favorite words.
There are quizzes and brain training games that you can play to keep your mind sharp. For instance, if I am feeling too sluggish at the beginning of a writing session, I will play one of these games to drill down to the core of my brain and get the ‘plasticity going’ as I phrase it and the neurons firing.
Some of these tools require a paid membership and lose many of their best features after the trial period. And how much extra cash do writers have on theirs persons? Um hmm. Unless you are born into or married a duke or duchess than it is the free tools that are left. Frankly, my imagination and the free thesaurus are enough to get words, phrases and even whole sentences on the page. I’m sure you can do much better.
What tools do you use to aid in your writing life?
To complement any reading you have finished this perfect reading day, here are some wonderful articles to help you along in your writing path.
Lifehack has an immense collection of articles on the Writing Life that we lead:
Ten Simple Rules for Good Writing This isn’t just the usual list. We “know” these, but we need to be reminded of them every once in a while.
And this one is stellar: 20 Free Resources to Create a Simple Ebook
I use a lot of these already, but it is wonderful to have all of them tied up in a neat little bow. ;p
This one fits my research and writing life if you’ve ever wondered How Does Writing Affect Us?
NPR has the Best Books of 2013
Stephen King famously and wisely said,
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Among the forty writing books I have, I prize my copy of Stephen King’s On Writing. However, there is a quote I came across on Goodreads from Mr. King’s Different Seasons that is one of the most poignant thoughts I have come across, and I’d like to share it with you. You, as a writer, will understand this.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
Lynne Neary–back at NPR–discusses how all writers rework their favorite stories.
Do you find you agree with her?
And to keep this in one place wherever you are, Lifehack has great tips for Dropbox