Tag Archive for: brain plasticity

How Science Can Help You Become a Better Writer

If you haven’t heard about brain plasticity yet, allow me to blow your mind:

Researchers discovered new details about the development and depth of pathways inside our brains. They are not static. Gone are the days of thinking your brain grows until you’re thirty, and then you’re screwed.

It’s becoming clearer we are able to change our beliefs and practices at any age.

That’s great news for the majority reading this.

This post is for you if you’ve ever said or thought anything below:

“I am a creature of habit. I can only write at certain times of the day.”

“I can’t write on bad days.”

“My time is spent helping others, not chasing my dreams.”

“I need ____________ or I can’t write.”

Fuck it all, friends.

Science found that although some of these things may be true…

We can change our patterns and outcomes, if we retrain ourselves to believe.

The four statements above (in italics) are only true because you’ve trained yourself to believe them.

Neurons connect with one another based on their usage. So if you keep saying these things over and over, you’re building a stronger connection to those thoughts. You are creating your reality.

Simultaneously, unused neurons break apart from one another. The more you practice something – a belief, an exercise or a talent – the stronger the connection becomes in your brain. That also means the shit you don’t practice becomes more difficult because of weak neural connections.

Think of grooves in a muddy road getting deeper with every car passing, or even eroding when abandoned.

See where I’m going?

Therapists are using these findings, telling clients to change their self-talk: Practice saying something you’ve never believed to be true, but want to believe or want to be true at the end of your journey.

What I’m proposing is something quite similar. (I’ve always said coaching is like therapy.)

If you practice positive beliefs about your writing style, you’ll be able to break bad habits.

If you believe you can only write at certain times of the day, then you will only be able to write at certain times of day. You can either expand or limit your ability.

When something interferes with your writing time, and you believe you can only write at that time of day, you then lose a full day of work. But you can retrain yourself to work at various times. The more you practice, the more the desire to work at only a specific time will diminish.

Simple. Science. Awesome.

If you practice writing on bad days, it’s going to get easier for you.

If you tell yourself it’s okay to chase your dream, it will become a reality.

And you won’t need your favorite charm or drink to get it done.

And yeah, I know it’s difficult. Especially if you don’t have someone there to help you get through the beginning of retraining your brain. (That’s why the universe created writing coaches.)

Bonus? Exercising your brain this way helps stop deterioration. You actually make your brain stay younger if you force yourself to face commonly held beliefs that hold you back.

And that shit is awesome.


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