Writing and our brains

Writing and our Brains.


Carla Day


As writers we are inclined to perform our craft, paying no attention to what it isactually doing and the effect it is having on our brains, why would we? In-fact I doubt many of us give it a second thought. Perhaps we should? It is actually pretty fascinating they way our brains interpret what we read and write. Our brains our wired in such a way that they interpret the written word from many parts of our clever brains . None of us - Ipresume - really realise how much of an effect writing has on our subconscious and what happens to our brains as we sit at our desks, coffee going cold, our creative juices flowing. Writing stories and reading our novels? In order to improve our writing skills we should take time to find out what is happening as we put pen to paper or tap furiously at our keyboards trying to get the story out. By studying the brain and its effects, it will help us shape our writing and help us create better content, knowing the reaction it ishaving on the reader.

The act of writing itself affects our brains as follows:

The frontal lobe - is the part of the brain associated with writing and speaking, it isalso responsible for reasoning, movement, judgement, planning and problem solving.

The Parietal lobe - this part of the brain interprets words and language.

Examples – we are at work and sitting through a power point presentation, With Bullet points about a particular subject – yawn – I hear you say, and you are probably right, two parts of the brain are activated, The Brocas and The Wenickes areas. These simply process the language and turn words into meaning, nothing more. However, when we are being told a story, beside the two language areas mentioned, other areas of the brain associated with experiencing events and bringing them to life kick in, so a more three dimensional and inwardly visual story appears.

Example – If our stories included action, like jumping or movement, the motor cortex will kick in dipping into memory. If details, such as description are incorporated. i.e. Her hair, as soft as silk. Our sensory responses will be activated and will make us feel like we are experiencing the full story as it comes to life.

Pretty amazing stuff hey?

It has been discovered by scientist in Spain that by sharing a story we are actually planting emotions into our readers heads, along with thoughts and ideas. The power of our story-telling is awesome! Our readers will actually synchronise with us when we tell evocative and emotional tales, they will feel as if they are actually experiencing it first hand, if we do it right! This has been monitored and proves we can actually have the reader practically live and breath what we write, giving us the ultimate power. If we choose our words carefully and avoid clichés – I’ll get to that, we can really create something truly magnificent for our readers to experience.

When scrawling down our ideas, we are arousing a group of cells at the the base of our brains called the RAS – Reticular Activating System. These purify information our brains need to process and it enables us to focus on what we are currently working on with a deeper clarity. So, the psychical part of writing pulls information to the front of our brains and sets off a trigger, making us pay attention to the job at hand.

Avoiding cliché’s – don’t bore your readers! It's proven that we can do this too.

Research has proved that if we repeat clichés and every day phrases, the brain has become so used to hearing them it actually switches off! i.e. It's in the bag – rather than – Ibelieve I have clinched the deal. If a commonly used phrase is repeated the brain interprets this as words only. So we need to be more creative with description to keep our readers awake!

A Few facts...

When we buy a new pen and begin to write with it, 97% of us will write our names first.

Writing improves our vocabulary, a book contain 50% more words than a TV programmes – So encourage your kids to read too.

Writing and meditation aren't that dissimilar, they both slow down our breathing and keep us in a zone, allowing us more freedom with our creative flow of words and keeps us calm. If we are feeling stressed we shouldn’t shout but we should write instead ! It will help. So it is also good for our hearts too.