How To Train Your Brain To Write

Training, is the key word. When you want to run a marathon you have to be motivated to even want to do it? Why would anyone want to run? That’s my question? I hear people say I feel this rush and I love it. {shudder}

The whole concept of getting outdoors and walking, jogging or worse running is totally foreign to me. However the process is the same. I love to write. There are times I don’t feel motivated, I don’t have a story, I will go out to my favorite writing site and look for contests to enter. I will google writing prompts and scroll through them until I find one that hits me and my brain begins to form a plot out of the prompt.
In these instances I don’t plan, I just write what I think the story is about. Sometimes the writing is in detail and other times it’s about the basic action.

I’d love to say “Write something every day.” We all know that in our busy schedule we may not be able to do that. The same with running. If it’s a past time we fit it in our lives when we can. If it’s something we love, we push other things aside to MAKE time to run.

A marathon is like the National Write a Novel in a Month. We prep for it in October and then on November 1 we start writing. We move everything aside so there is time to write every day. Sometimes we write more on a day to plan for those days when our schedule is full.

I am just 5 days from the finish line and I have 5,106 words left to write. I don’t want to be like the Hare in the fable and not finish or have to madly write at the end. I will plug along today and every day until I get to the end.

This is what I feel is training your brain. If you look for stories in life, you’ll find them. If you keep a running idea of what you like to write, you can always fit a story in to that narrative. I just wrote a story for a contest the other day. I have a setting I love and it’s a bit on the weird and spooky side. I fit the prompt into that idea and wrote almost 3,000 words about a camera that captured the subjects when they were filmed. You can train your brain to write, if you just write to train your brain.

Day 13 of the NANOWRIMO

Just a post to say I’m on track. I logged my total words last night at 22,285.
I’m progressing on this story. I don’t write in ACTS. I’m not even sure how. I just keep writing the story.

Overview up to now-
The body parts are found. Our Main Character, Andrea Watson and FBI agent Fletcher Peterson, have connected with the Hmong doctor who preserved more body parts found by fellow fishermen. Now it’s been revealed there is a connection to two missing women, one from Kansas and one from Missouri.
Our Main character has been approved to travel to Kansas to observe the investigation there. This is a thorn in her team leader’s side. He can’t understand why she is asked by the FBI to go. He throws the news article about her father on her desk accusing her of seeking the limelight in the public eye. Something Andrea abhors.
A number of people the two have questioned mention a family that lives on the lake. Their description of the father and his overbearing control of his children has moved his name to the top of their suspect list.
What is going to happen once she gets to Kansas? What will they find there? Will Andrea’s research into reports from the locals lead her to find a connection the authorities missed before? What will Fletcher think about her ability to “see” what others miss?

A friendly discussion

I met Stian on Masterclass and followed his discussion. It garnered lot of thought while reading and re-reading the following post. I hope you find it as interesting. Make your comments below.  You’ll have to read his blog then come back here to comment on my blog.

This is the link to his blog:


When I asked for more clarification here is his response:

You didn’t miss it. I didn’t cover this, but may get back to it later.

One thing to consider in response to science:

There are scientists who argue that humans have no free will. This is based on brain studies where scientists can (more or less) predict a behavior seconds or a minute before it takes place — arguably, before a person has decided to enact that behavior herself.

So if an action can be predicted before a person has decided to do it, how can there then be free will?

However, there is another way of interpreting these findings… We can think of these findings as impulses that humans may choose whether or not to act on. And if an impulse seems rational (such as making dinner if hungry) we choose to act on these impulses, which is why scientists may predict with 90 % accuracy that a certain action may take place.

In conclusion, we may act on an impulse because it seems rational to us, or because we’re not thinking consciously about the impulse before we act on it.

(The only specific experiment I’m familiar with myself, is that scientists could predict with 90 % accuracy whether rats would turn left or right on a certain path they were walking on. Arguably, this research is also transferrable to humans given similarities in brain structure.)

As for why it is credible that humans have free will (i.e. the capability of acting spontaneously, not being fully controlled by processes of nature), this is because we perform rational acts (in succession) that would seem very coincidental if we did not have free will.

One example:

People can have a conversation for hours, in which each participant’s response is related to a particular topic, and in which each response to some degree mirrors what the previous speaker has said. This is especially true in business and political meetings, but also in ordinary conversations.

Now, if humans did not have free will, then our response would be determined by forces outside our control. That would mean that nature could force us say things or act in ways that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

There are a thousand ways to respond to what a previous person has said, and yet we often choose a response that stands in relation to the discussion. And when we conduct a conversation for hours, it seems extremely unlikely — to put it carefully — that forces of nature time and again make us choose a rational response (a response that is thematically related to the discussion) when for each rational response, there are at least 999 ways of responding (i.e. things to say) that have nothing to do with the topic at hand.

In conclusion, it is our rational behavior (over time) that strongly suggests the existence of free will.

Here’s an optional scenario:

In a world without free will, the chance we are able to have a rational conversation (a short one) is 1/1000 (= probability of rational response) ^5 (= multiplied with 1/1000 per response in the conversation).

This would result in a chance of 1/1,000,000,000,000,000 for a rational conversation containing as little as five responses (altogether from both parties) to the initial statement (= 1/1000 multiplied with itself five times).

And then you have the conversations that last for hours.