Getting Rid of Writers Block


This is one of those days. Sitting trying to find the words to write a blog post that would get me more readers.

I know that my tone sometimes are too serious and sound theoretical at times, but then I am always reminded of the words that there is nothing as practical as a good theory.

This is where my new tool Writemonkey is brilliant. By providing me with a black blank screen and just a green cursor, I have no option but to let my creative juices flow. (Thanks to Brian Solis for this link).

Many years ago I read this book called Writing from Both Sides of the Brain. In this book the author describes a technique of writing using a blank pen (one who has no more ink), using carbon paper between two sheets of paper.

By not being able to see what you are writing, you are effectively shutting of the left brain – the editing side.

She then explained why it is useful to use this technique first thing in the morning. She explained that by starting to write everything that comes to mind iro of how silly it may seem, creativity will be stimulated.

I have used that technique with great effect. I do a Mind Map about an upcoming presentation just before I go to bed and then start to write first thing in the morning. In that writing, I normally discover a number of nuggets of wisdom and my speech just about completed.

Brain Scientists and Accelerated Learning experts call this the Reticular Activating System at work. While you are asleep, your brain in effect does some filing and filtering and through that filing create associations in the brain.

Apparently your reticular activating system is like a filter between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind. It takes instructions from your conscious mind and passes them on to your subconscious. For example, the instruction might be, "listen out for anyone saying my name".

Simply put, your RAS is a filter within your brain which determines which information that is taken in will actually be noticed by your conscious mind. Your brain can process over four hundred billions bits of information per second, but you are only consciously aware of about two thousand. Your RAS is responsible for determining which bits of information are the lucky two thousand that get noticed out of the four hundred billion.

The RAS sorts through the information based on similar information patterns already established in your brain.

Let’s say there are hundreds of conversations going on in the room, it is hard to hear any of them specifically. All of a sudden you hear someone across the room say your name, how could you have possibly heard it through all the noise?

The answer is your RAS sorted through all of the other conversations which it determined as unfamiliar and unimportant to you, but upon hearing your name, sent the message directly to your conscious mind.

Basically the Reticular Activation System is how the Law of Attraction works. We get what we focus on; we create what we think about and the RAS system of our brains just helps this process along.

By doing a mind map the night before, you activate the RAS to do that filing and link every thing together.

All you need to do the next morning is to get it out (Retrieval) and where I used to use paper, I now use my new tool, WriteMonkey.

And using these techniques I am curing writer’s block.

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One comment

  1. Çhesney

    Hi Deon,
    Great post. I freewrite on something unrelated or create a mindmap – you recommended the book by Joyce Wycoff, remember? I keep a journal and just write in one continuous flow. I try stay in the flow — see “Synchronicity: the inner path of leadership”. Tone of voice key for brand communications. Cheers Enjoy your weekend (and writing tool). Chesney