Corpus Callosum — the connection of the Right and Left sides of the brain
Poem by Angela Masters Young c 2012
Do you ever struggle between the two sides of your brain?
How do you work it out?
Do you wish you had this problem? ;]
- ‘New beginning’ in split-brain research, using new analytical tools (sciencedaily.com)
A writing Gremlin has been
eating both sides of my brain dogging my steps lately. I’m not sure what his name is, but I sure wish he’d go away. Some might call him ‘writer’s block’; others might call him ‘extreme busy-ness’. I just call him a pain in the butt neck. Fortunately, in my blog reading tours, I have noticed I am not alone. Others struggle with getting posts out too, for whatever reasons.
For me, this has been a time of reevaluation and refection. I’ve asked myself a few questions:
►What has derailed me?
►Where do I want to go with my blog(s)?
►Have I allowed my priorities to get skewed?
►Am I trying too hard?
►Will my readers still be there when I work through this?
►Is it time to stop blogging?
►What am I ‘supposed to’ be doing? (i.e. is this part of God’s plan for me?)
I have found some answers and many more questions. No, I’m not leaving. I am reevaluating and reworking my self and my time use skills (or lack thereof.) I’d also love it if any of you would like to do a guest blog post on Writing with Both Sides of Your Brain. Just let me know. In the mean time, thank you to you all for taking this ride with Gram and Imma. You are the best!
I came across this quote in one of my puzzle books:
“Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find you have crossed the mountain”. Anonymous
How often, in life and in our writing endeavors, do we focus so hard on the mountain that needs crossed that we trip over the little pebbles along the way? If that happens to you . . . it’s time for a change in focus.
Rather than look at the big job that overwhelms us, chunk the work up into small pebbles and work on them one at a time. Chunking is not a new concept, but how often do we forget that the big jobs are comprised of smaller jobs. One great example is writing a book. Writing a book definitely falls into the category of a mountain. It is a huge undertaking. However, if we stop looking at the mountain and just cross one pebble at a time, we can climb the mountain. Several writers have suggested just writing a certain amount of time or number of words a day. Don’t worry about editing and all those other things, just write. Others may choose to write up an outline of some kind first and just work on a section at a time.
However you choose to organize your work, see if you can’t focus on one pebble at a time. Before you know it, you will have crossed the mountain without even realizing it. Happy Writing!
With the younger grandkids here this week, I am getting a mega-dose of children’s programing. Super Readers, Word Girl, and Build-a-Word, among others, teach children about the wonder of words. Both children (2 and 4) have eyes glued to the set and try to participate when it’s called for. The power of words. If this were my other blog, I would discuss how words affect others. Here, however, I want to talk about how important words are to us. As many of you are writers, you understand the difficulty, at times, of putting words together in a meaningful way. You also understand the importance of doing so to communicate your idea to your readers.
You are important! What if writers did not exist? What would people read? How would they expand their minds? How would they communicate? How would they live?!
What you write is important! There’s a lot of bad writing out there, but there’s some great writing out there as well. I know each of you want to be in the last category. You care about your readers and want to inform, inspire, motivate, and make a difference. Do you think about your reader when you write? Even if the person you write for is yourself, you should. Whether you write from your left brain, right brain, or both, what you write makes a difference. It either contributes to the growth of society (readers) or it doesn’t.
Super Writer! Did you know you have super powers? Yes, you! The words you put down, string together, offer to readers, can help wipe out illiteracy, increase knowledge, provide enjoyment, and much more. On the other hand, your words can harm and you can be come a “super villain” in the writing world. No one here would do that though. You are all super heroes, using your power to enhance the world!
Your Award: I created a new award (sorry if someone else has one like it – I’ve not seen it if you do). I would like to bestow this on each of you. Please take it and pass it on. The only rule is that the recipient use his or her words in a way that uplifts or helps others in some way. Congratulations from Emma and Gram!
I am a puzzle freak.
I love a challenge.
I need a challenge.
I’m not talking about jigsaw, puzzles here. I mean the kind that you buy in a booklet type thing. Cross Sums, Numbers Place, Syllacrostics, Anacrostics, Cryptograms, and the like. In my obsession, I often will get into one type of puzzle and keep at it until it is no longer a challenge. Then I’m off to hunt for something else to master. Sometimes I will go back to a puzzle type after a while, but eventually, there just is no challenge and that is boring. One problem with that is finding something challenging after you’ve mastered a few!
Then again, there are a few things that I just don’t get. There the frustration level is so high that I give up or peek. Logic puzzles fit in this category. I’m guessing they fall into my learning disability, but it’s rare for me to be able to finish one without looking at the cheat sheet in the back. This is true even though I must use logic to solve the puzzles I’m good at. I’ll put that in the hmmmmm file for now.
In learning, there is tension or frustration. The goal is to keep the learner in between too much frustration (and quitting) and too little (not challenged).
This brings me to writing. A writer needs to have some challenges. We need to stretch ourselves and learn new things. If we not, our writing becomes stagnant. Our mind becomes stagnant. We get stuck in a comfort zone where we crank out drivel because we can. Maybe it’s good stuff, but it’s no longer challenging. The mind, right half and left half, need a challenge to keep growing, and if our writing is no longer challenging, our mind stops growing.
This blog is a challenge for me that stretches my mind and imagination. Certain types of writing, however, occur on autopilot. I may need to do that type of writing at times, but I also know I need to keep challenging Gram and Imma so they keep growing. As we age, it’s even more important to offset the loss of brain cells. We can build new connections in our brain (even if we have to work a bit harder) and need to do so for our own brain health.
A mind not challenged is a mind not growing. ~ Angela Masters Young
Do you seek writing challenges, or do you stay in your comfort zone?
How do you challenge your mind as you write?
Can you see growth in your writing as you challenge yourself to master new things?
Does your writing challenge others to grow and stretch as well?
Here’s to challenging ourselves and growth as writers and as people. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
- Mind Stretches (csahm.com)
My grandson loves to play “ketchup” when we’re in the car. This game started as a game of “catch up” in which we would attempt to catch up to or pass the car in front of us (safely of course). Soon it
devolved evolved into “let’s put the ketchup on ’em gramma.”
I tried to explain what a play on words is and that we were playing “catch up”, but he didn’t get it. He is only 4 after all. So in his mind, ketchup is interchangeable with other foods.
Last time he came, he said, “let’s put the applesauce on ’em gramma!”
When I took him home, he decided we were out of “ketchup” and we “put the mustard on ’em”.
Grandma thinks it’s great, because playing with words is one of her favorite things. She often teases the kids using word play that they don’t understand. Sometimes she teases adults, but it’s not as much fun. It’s only fun with adults if they don’t catch on. It’s amazing how many mix ups can occur because of word mix ups. It reminds me of Ellen’s segment, called “Clumsy Thumbsy,” where she shows how the automatic text corrector on people’s phones goes horribly wrong as they text.
One text went from mortgage payment to MOTTS Applesauce. This left a person asking for a loan to pay for his Motts Applesauce payment. Unfortunately, most of these turn out as things I can’t share on my blog, but it’s amazing how word mix ups can create humor (and other things in our lives).
This is also a good reason to carefully edit our work. We can say something else entirely with just a few mixed up letters. I have to watch auto-correct on my iPad closely!
Do you have funny stories of words gone wrong? Do you like t play with words in a punny way? (word intended) Do you laugh or get upset when words go wrong in your life? Have you ever ‘put the mustard on someone’? How much do you pay for your MOTTS applesauce? We’d love to hear your stories.
Celeste is a psychological thriller in novella form by Michelle Devon. The word thriller definitely applies to this story. It keeps the reader guessing at every turn and trying to predict the outcome. Be warned that once you start reading, you will not want to put it down until the end. Then you might wish it had kept going from there, as you will find yourself invested in the story and in the protagonists. That is the mark of a good psychological thriller!
Celeste is definitely an example of someone using both sides of her brain to write this creative fiction. It’s logical sequencing and detail carries the stamp of a left-brain, while it’s fun creativity speaks right-brain. Often, these types of creations, products of a fully engaged brain, carry the reader into a mindfully engaging experience.
Click on the Celeste link above to find the book (along with her others) on Amazon.com at under $2 for kindle readers. While you’re appreciating her writing and the story, see if you can tell how her brain worked to create it.
As a writer, I often look for articles and books that help me with my craft. One such book is Freelance Writing Guide by Christine Rice. Christine is a self-published writer who decided to share the things she learned in her first year as a free-lance writer. The book is simple and concise, but it gives a lot of information that would help someone considering a career as a freelance writer. Even those who have freelanced for a while can learn a few things from this book. I know I did.
Freelance Writing Guide: What to Expect in Your First Year as a Freelance Writer covers everything a writer might meet when entering (or continuing in) the freelance writing market. It covers everything from writing, publishing, marketing, and SEO to lifestyle changes one might encounter. Christine provides helpful tools that will enhance the freelancer’s craft and help in navigating the shoals of the pursuing a career in freelance writing. Christine simply tells her story and shares all the knowledge she gained along the way with her readers.
Having read several such books that fail to come through as promised, I was pleasantly surprised by the helpfulness of Christine’s book. The book gives details in how to do all the different things a freelance writer must do to earn from his or her income. I have been freelance writing since 2007, and I learned quite a few helpful tips from this book. In my estimation, that makes this a great book for any freelancer seeking to enter the world of freelance writing. It’s also helpful to those who have freelanced for a while, but still feel as if they are groping in the dark at times. Her style is simple, but engaging, and laid out in an easy-to-use format as a resource tool for writers. I highly recommend this book for those in or interested in entering a career as a freelance writer.
I love that Christine shares the struggles, freelancing is not easy, along with the solutions that make the struggle worthwhile. Freelance writing is not for the faint of heart, but with Christine’s guide, those who want to pursue writing as a career or even an added part-time income, will find much information to help them along the way.
You can buy Christine’s book(s) here
You can also find Christine here:
Thank you all for your patience with me at this time of extreme business and little inspiration :) If you follow my other blog, you may skip this, but I wanted to share it with those who do not follow over there because it is about 9/11. You can find the post here if interested. If not continue to the poem below.
Above the crowds
Proud and distinct
beacon of strength
We watched you fall
A horrific event
Death stood in your place
You were defeated
From the burning ashes
Arose a spirit of hope
as a people stood tall
in your place
What has this event inspired in you?