Apr 21 2016

#atozchallenge R is Writer’s Resistance and @RosanneBane #WritersBlock #smell #coffee

The craft of fiction writing is the Theme for the #atozchallenge 2016 on the blog of @JLenniDorner
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26 writing reference books containing 26 lessons leads to a month of #WriteTips and writing samples

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R is for “Resistance” and “Rosanne”
Book: Around the Writer’s Block: Using Brain Science to Solve Writer’s Resistance by Rosanne Bane
My dice roll: 139
Lesson: Getting neurons together for a writing routine

The experiment is to select and evocative scent, focus on the smell or memory of the smell, then list all the words that come to mind in a five to ten-minute freewrite.
Some of the suggested scents are vanilla, bacon, or coffee.

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Scent chosen: coffee

  • Reading
  • Poetry
  • Hotels
  • Writing
  • Love
  • Coffee shops
  • Other writers
  • Laughter
  • Breakfast
  • Family
  • Warmth
  • Flavor
  • Variety
  • Choice
  • Dessert
  • Dating, falling in love, making new friends
  • Bookstores
  • Traveling
  • Safety
  • Sophistication
  • Normality among those I don’t (or didn’t) otherwise fit in with
  • Sunrise
  • All-nighters
  • College

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One smell evokes many memories.

The purpose, and next step, is to pick a scent or taste and have it present every time you write for several weeks. Thus, the neurons of your brain will associate that smell or taste with writing. The more that particular ritual (eating a certain candy, burning a scented candle, etc.) is associated with writing and ONLY with writing, the more effective it becomes as a ritual trigger.

Meaning that, if you lit a “cherries on snow” scented candle every time you sat down to write, your brain would come to associate that scent with writing. Thus, if you felt a case of writer’s block coming on, lighting the candle could fight it off.

Brain: “Smell that? It must be time to write!”
Fingers: “Okay.”
Heart: “Yay! Let’s do this! Woot thump thump woot!” Let's do this image on the blog of @JLenniDorner
Muse: “Incoming ideas.”

Trained behaviors become an automatic process. The smell becomes a way to tell your brain that it’s time to write.

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Do you have a writing ritual? Are there any scents or tastes you always incorporate when writing? Will you try out today’s lesson?

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  1. I used to use incense or light a candle when I was ready to write, and yes, that did work to get me down to work. These days, however, I tend to be on more of a this is writing time routine. I think that came with age, the time of day routine, because when I was younger, there was no way in hell I was going to happily get up at 6 or 7am to get some writing done before getting the day started.

  2. I don’t use scents or tastes for this, but I have noticed that I’m always more productive at my weekly writer’s gathering, which have been a Sunday ritual for the past two years. That’s probably part of the same mechanism working since it’s at the same location every week with it’s own smells, sights, and sounds for my brain to key in on.
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    • Juneta on April 21, 2016 at 3:06 PM

    Great tip an on switch for the muse, lol. . I marked the book to go back and get at first of the month.
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit
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  3. You actually did the full exercise, I’m impressed. Hopping by after #azchat on twitter. I have different how to and self-help books and the exercises always look good on paper, but whoever does them? Congrats for doing one! Maui Jungalow
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    1. I did a month worth of them for this challenge. Ha ha ha. A few of these books I’ve actually done all of them (this is one of those). Thanks for stopping in.

  4. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book someday.. but my problem is trying to decide what to write about.

    #AtoZChallenge S is for Streisand
    Mary Burris has this post to share #AtoZChallenge S is for StreisandMy Profile
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  5. I think the smell of coffee is what I associate with writing. Since I try to write early in the morning, it’s just me, my coffee and that computer screen. The coffee has the best aroma!
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