Monday, December 6, 2010

Take Your Brain for a Walk (your dog can come too)


I'm a walker. I walk one to three miles a day. My dog, Togo is the perfect walking-buddy. She never calls in sick, never wants to stop and sit on the park bench for a while and she generally doesn't talk so much that my brain can't keep up. (and if she does start talking - you can bet I'll write a book about it) As you can see from the photo, she is always ready, willing, and able.

There are times that my feet just don't want to walk out the door, and I have to trick myself into getting out there. I'll tell you about those later, but I now have a new trick, which is more of a reason. I heard it on my Zune (like an Ipod).

On my Zune today: Podcast from The Creative Penn - an interview with cognitive neuroscientist, Livia Blackburn She is an MIT graduate and a writer. She has studied writing, reading and the brain. It's a fascinating interview. In this podcast, I learned about brain pathways. One is the deliberate pathway and the other is the spontaneous pathway.

The deliberate pathway is the one you use when you know what you want to write. You are driven by a purpose, sitting at your computer. You are so focused that you can't possibly see outside the box. This is not the time that you will come up with brilliant and creative ideas.

The spontaneous pathway is the one used when you aren't focusing on anything at all. You might be on a walk, sitting in a boring meeting, or in the shower.

Can you see where this is going? I can. How many times have I been on a walk with my dog when suddenly I come up with the most brilliant idea for a novel. Or it might even be a solution to the one I've been struggling with day and night. Of course, if you're like me, you'll have forgotten that brilliant idea by the time you get home. I now make a quick note of my thoughts on my cell phone "notes" section.

So, get out there and take your brain for a walk. I'll see you there!

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