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How To Hack Your Writing Brain

You’re reading How To Hack Your Writing Brain, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’re enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Writing has always been the art that most intimately reaches out to people and asks them to create. Let’s be honest; we are more than aware when we can’t paint or draw or shade. We have relatively good indications of our futility in a great many arts because commonly, we can’t envision ourselves creating that art. If you can’t dance, you don’t think about your ability dance all day. Additionally, many arts matter less in our daily lives due to a defined lack of practical application. Sure, you might need to help a sketch artist draw a bank robber’s headshot, but even then, you aren’t doing the drawing. There are rarely times where painting a picture of the snow falling in your front yard would be more practical than simply using your smartphone to take a picture and sending it, with love, to your friend in Florida. Your boss might say “write up a proposal and cover letter by the end of the day” but isn’t likely to say, “Please paint a picture showing how are meeting looked this afternoon.” Writing is different because while it is an art (think Hemmingway), it is also a basic need (think writing a check or passing elementary school courses). And it can also be vindication (think about that time you went through that breakup and really wanted to put it all into words). The Internet is now in content overdrive. The competition for page views and sales is mostly funneled either via the written word, or video. Because video requires more laborious technological endeavors and skills, a greater challenge exists to accomplish it, leaving writing, once again, as the web’s driving art. Writing has value in common daily application (think web marketing, your Facebook status, that cover letter) and art application (think that novella about growing up a small town girl in Kentucky, eventually ending up a pilates instructor in NYC, only to suffer the consequences of a fast-life suffering heart). Because of this, I hear the phrase, “I wish I could write like you do” all the time. The written word is powerful and versatile, and for some, it seems unaccomplishable. Well, being a seasoned writer who has been published in USA Today, among other outlets, I can assure you, writing is something you can do. The problem is, you just don’t know how to hack your writer’s brain. And when I tell you how to mine your brain for writing ability, you may just not want it anymore. That’s because some would view hacking the writer’s brain as something that sits somewhere between an inconvenience and absolute annoyance. But wait, I’m a writer, so how would I know if these tips work? Because writers just like me get writer’s block and I’ve learned that writer’s block is mostly just not following the below tips. You decide. Here’s my list of ways to hack the writer’s brain.

1) Honesty Fuels Creativity

Writing, of course, by most every standard, needs a creative infusion. Words don’t just magically appear. But often, people think of “creative writing” as only writing for specific circumstances, such as a novel or a poem. But writing on all fronts typically requires creativity. And creativity is spawned from one’s ability to be insightful. And the only way by which you can be insightful is, to be honest with yourself. If you want to create characters, the best place to start is by understanding your own self. If you need to write something that manipulates another party’s position (think writing a letter to a landlord), then you need to be in tune with how a real human thinks, not how you want them to think. A strategic writer need not be a seasoned writer, rather, someone who understands the emotions of other people. You can’t create a character built on human emotions when your own interpretation of human emotions are built on lies. Wait, what? Yes, get over it, we all lie to ourselves about how think, how we feel, how we react to things. We are revisionist when it comes to considerations made about our day’s events. Really good writers step out of their own body and judge themselves without bias. And they expose themselves to the elements. If you want to learn to write powerfully, start by writing about the real you. You have an inside track to human character (yours), to human emotion (your happiness and sadness and frustrations), and to human error. By writing about yourself in candor, without the constraints of ego, you begin to understand how other’s feel and interpret. This changes how you write a letter to your boss asking for a raise. This changes how you develop a character in your novel. And what’s great about this? It is what writing classes have said all along: keep a diary. I don’t tell anyone to write a daily journal, but I do encourage writing when you feel impassioned about something in your life. Nobody needs to see it; this is your training to hone a skill. When you went to the grocery store this afternoon, you might tell people you were savvy and got a great deal using a coupon (you are smart), and on the way out, you gave a dollar to a homeless person (you are giving). These are things, which while genuine and relevant, are often just us living in a shell and protecting our self-worth from being devalued by the world. We want people to think we are great. Great writers don’t think like this; they are commonly comfortable in their own self-deprecation. “I went to the store this afternoon. As I was checking out, I noticed that the checker wasn’t going to scan in my case of water bottles because they were under the cart. I knew if I could just hold tight, I’d save $8. But I folded, I felt scared of getting caught, so I alerted the checker. Does the fact that I wanted to not alert the checker put me on the fringe of moral depravity?” That’s loaded with real, human emotion. It is relatable and honest. It’s interesting. An entire character could be built from just that excerpt (I made that up, by the way). By writing honest things, you get access to the most interesting human being on earth: YOU.

2) White Noise Is Writer Brain Food

I can’t write anything while there is a TV or radio on, I tend to start following those scripts or beats. I can work on my laptop at a great non-writing related tasks and have a TV on, but I can’t write a well-thought out sentence if an episode of Friends is on in the background. Silence is golden, but there might be more gold in white noise. When I used to fly a lot, I began to realize that my creativity seemed to be elevated (pun intended). I loved the sounds of the engine as my background; I felt immersed inside my own little brain. Well as it turns out, that “noise” seems to be pretty healthy for writers. Check out this full article in Fast Company discussing ambient noise and productivity, they related it directly to writing. This hack is super easy. You can purchase apps, or, do what I do and hit up Youtube. Here is an Arctic Blizzard, definitely one of my favorites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SVAgQh7Gg0 Thunderstorms out at sea (this is thinker’s gold). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsD5u6k6dKI There are also some cool alpha brain waves one (these don’t work for me, but reviews are insanely good). Here is one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEgSBuYlSoA&t=4654s Just search “white noise” in Youtube’s search bar and find what you like. I have some Bose Noise Reduction headphones that I pair up with these white noise videos, and it feels as if I am in a new world or a far, far away land. My productivity, my creativity, and my focus all feel elevated. This also allows you to work near a TV, radio or in a busy cafe without being subjected to hearing unwanted noises.

3) Reading Can Break Writer’s Block

If you deploy the above tips and still find you are trapped in writer’s block anyway, pick up something creative and read it. Or, if you are attempting to write something more formal, find some formal pieces of writing and read those. The new, focused stimuli will help shift your brain’s mode to that gear. When I offer this advice to people, they often respond with “I never thought of that.” To be honest, I forget it as well. Its very basic, but very powerful.

4) What You Eat Fuels The Brain (Boost it with MCT oil or Coconut Oil)

We are going to get started where it hurts: your diet. I want to make sure I’m clear here; I’m giving you an essential writer’s brain hack tip, I’m not advising you on health. You can see your doctor if you want to lose weight or develop amazing biceps, I’m here to make you a pound for pound writing champ. When I was growing up, one of my writing teachers used to tell me that if I wanted to achieve a more creative writing state, I should eat candy. He kept candy on his desk. This might be true, but the problem with it is you will have little endurance. Your writing tank will run out. Refined carbs aren’t great for endurance. Often, we think of diet and exercise as related (because they are). If someone is going to play basketball or run a marathon, they think, “what should I eat that offers me endurance?” The same should be true for writing. Writers need to be able to focus and concentrate for extended periods of time. Stay with lower carbs or complex carbs. This means proteins such as meats, or carbs such as raw (or unsweetened nuts). Your brain will run more efficiently in this mode and eliminate that “crashing” feeling that refined carbs induce. You need your brain to have stabilized energy. The brain, is in fact, a much sharper machine when it runs lower carb. Here’s a great article from Authority Nutrition  explaining how the presence of ketones in the brain is healthier for the brain (ketones are the result of super low carb diets that go on for extended periods of time). So the hack? Get the ketones going and sharpen up that brain for the long haul. You can do this by ordering some MCT oil, or some coconut oil. For added effect, put either in your coffee. Don’t bust out sugary carbs until you are done writing. This focus is so intense that I often find myself 4,000 words deep and not even realizing what time it is, or how much time has passed. Writers, just like athletes, need endurance. And the writer’s main muscle is focus. Often, writer’s block is merely the result of a brain that can’t focus.

5) Hack Your Perception

I’m going to say this as candidly as possible: every person and every situation are interesting. If you think you are boring, it is the fault of your own perception skills, rather than the fault of who you are. If you think the store is boring and without any substance, that’s your perception missing life. Life is interesting, always, unless you make it not so. I always tell people to go to a store and stop and look around and think, “what could I write that would make this experience more interesting.” This will help tune your perspective on matters to be a bit more intuitive. Most books ever written are about things, people and situations which are boring, the writer chose to not be bored. Wherever you are, if you see a dull horizon, that’s always on you. Making a habit out of seeing the interesting factors in everyday situations and in yourself will help to hack your writing brain. It grants you greater self-awareness and refined intuition. Practice having increased intuition and watch the words flow for anything you choose to write about. Conclusion: In the end, everyone is a writer. Sure, some of us are born with a little more prowess than others, but everyone can get better at it with practice and creating the right conditions.


Cory is a seasoned writer who currently writes for a prepping website called PrepForThat.com. Photo credit: Daniel McCullough

You’ve read How To Hack Your Writing Brain, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you’ve enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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About Darren Webb

Hello & Welcome to my blog. My name is Darren Webb and i'm on a magical successful journey and also helping others have a more stress free relaxed life. I truly hope that you find a lot of useful information on my blog and that it helps you through your life. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

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10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed

You're reading 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

After working for the whole day, running from one place to another, handling boss and irritating colleagues, the only thing which can make your day is a good sleep. But good sleep doesn’t mean lying in bed for 9 hours and still feeling exhausted after waking up. A good sleep means that even after taking 6 hours of sleep, you should feel recharged again to work for the whole day.
Although there are many things which you can do to get a good, relaxing and deep sleep there are also many habits which you should never follow before going to bed and in this blog post, we will be looking at those 10 things which you should always avoid before going to bed.

1. Alcohol
A small glass of wine before going to bed sounds like a fascinating idea and it surely will help you to fall asleep but if you are concerned about the quality of sleep and then you should never consume any type of alcohol before going to bed.

2. Mobile Phone
Many studies have shown that using a mobile phone, tablet, e-reader or even watching television before going to bed can disrupt your sleeping. So, if you want to experience a deep sleep, then you should always avoid any light-emitting device before going to bed.

3. Caffeine
Caffeine stays in our body for almost 10-12 hours and even a small cup of coffee contains at least 80 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. And you must be aware of the working of caffeine in our body and how the employees of late night shift consume it for staying awake. So avoid consuming any type of caffeine before going to bed.

4. Chocolate
If you are a sweet tooth then consuming chocolate after dinner as a dessert might sound like a very good idea but you should know that even chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine and especially dark chocolate. So replace your idea of consuming dark chocolate with any other dessert which will not keep your eyes wide open even at midnight.

5. Big Meal
Devouring a big meal before going to bed can also disrupt your sleep. The reason behind this is after taking a big meal, your metabolism has to kick in and that can affect your sleep. It can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux diseases, weight gain, and other serious bad effects on your body.

6. Lots of water
Drinking water is very much necessary throughout the day but if you have completed the quota of your water consumption in a day, then there is no need to drink a jug full of water before going to sleep - it will result in unnecessary trips to the bathroom which obviously disrupt your sleep.

7. Wrong food
Including foods like a cheesecake in your everyday dessert sounds very delicious but you should know that, food products which are high in saturated fat and sugar are a major cause of disrupted sleep.

8. Smoke
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9. Exercise
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10. Bath
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A good sleep is as necessary as food, air and water are for the body and brain. So, if you want to sleep properly throughout the night, without feeling exhausted for the whole day, then you should always avoid the above-mentioned things before going to bed.

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Saurabh Gupta is a technical content writer at Cloudwalks His area of expertise includes software, cloud computing, cybersecurity and life lessons.

You've read 10 Things to Avoid Before Going to Bed, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere.

You're reading From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

We all have our own moments of doubt, distress, and complete laziness. But what usually determines someone`s success or failure is your ability to stay motivated especially during their toughest times.  I`ve worked on this topic for years and below are some of the things you can do to stay motivated.

1. Work Your Negative Thoughts Out
Tony Robbins was right when he said the difference between you and success is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself. These limiting beliefs are keeping you in doubt and the only way to stay motivated is by exposing them to journaling and expressive writing. Studies have found that those who completed four weekly journaling sessions for eight weeks were less worried and more motivated, than those who didn`t.

2. Remove Performance Barriers
Tim Ferris has a simple learning technique that works like magic. Whenever you`re about to learn a skill or do something new, take some time to list all your reasons to quit.

Your goal, after identifying these barriers, is to complete the first five sessions of whatever you want to practice. Why five? Because that`s what your brain needs to create wirings for new habits.

3. Do Less of The Things That Aren`t Aligned With Your Goals
Sales mogul, Grant Cardone once shared a story about someone who worked with him at McDonald`s. Unlike Cardone who was only there for the money, this guy was super pumped to go to work. Why?Because his goal was to learn everything about the business and open his own McDonald`s franchises. Soon Cardone was fired and that dude went on to achieve his dream.

4. Create Necessity
Brendan Bouchard once asked a client, an Olympic sprinter, who he thought was going to win the race. And the man replied, “I will get on the guy who gets down at the blocks, looks at the finish line and says ‘I`ve got to do this for my mom."

This is the power of WHY. Whenever you lack motivation, ask yourself why, or for whom, do you want to reach that goal. If you keep digging, you`ll always find something worth working hard for.

5. It`s like a bath
“People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.” - Zig Ziglar
You usually hear people saying, “I don`t feel motivated to chase my goals.” Well, maybe if you write them long enough you`ll eventually feel pumped to go after them.

You must commit to writing your goals at least once a day, every day regardless of how good or bad you feel because, at the end of the day, the quality of your life will come down to what you`ve chosen to pay attention to. So you`d better pay attention to something worthy.

When listing your goals, write down whatever makes you pumped. If “I`m making my first million before my 25th birthday” doesn`t motivate you, then think about listing all the things that you want to buy, or experience, when you make your first million. A trip to Italy, a courtside seat in a Lakers` game, spending X amount of dollars guilt-free…etc.

Forget about what others tell you goals should be, as long as the ones you`ve chosen make you feel excited then you`re good to go.

6. Get a Quick Jump on the Day

It`s much easier to change feelings with action that to do it the other way around. Why? Because you have more control over actions than over feelings. As William James once said, "By regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling."
If there`s one nugget I want to leave you with then let this be it: Productivity comes before motivation and not the other way around. This is why you must start the day with a bang regardless of whether you`re an early bird or a night owl.

The quicker you start the day with a victory, the more motivated you`ll feel during the rest of it. So cut Facebook, meaningless texting or T.V., and focus all your efforts on getting something done.

Any sort of productivity, no matter how small. Just remember that once the ball starts rolling you`ll feel motivated to get more done. An object in motion will stay in motion, so sayeth the law.

Marwan Jamal is a fitness and health blogger at healthline.com and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym, and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.

You've read From the Experts: 6 Tips to Stay Motivated, Anytime, Anywhere., originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

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