Friday, March 4, 2011

Goofing Around is Good For the Brain--So Is Housework!

I've completely ignored my blog this week. Instead I've been lounging on my sofa, reading until the patch of morning sunshine moves. I de-cluttered my basement, giving boxes of unused stuff to charity. I've written, but it's all silly stuff--like a poem in the shape of Justin Bieber's hair. Let's just say I have more appreciation for his hair-stylist, and less appreciation for my poetry skills.

And I've felt a wee bit guilty and more than a bit unproductive. But--

Then I went to my monthly SCBWI meeting and learned that all that goofing around is actually good for my brain!

Kim Justesen, author of My Brother The Dog, explained that our brains constantly form new neural pathways. Trying new things--like Bieber hair poems--creates new pathways! (Kim asked us to write something with our non-dominant hand as a brain-enhancing exercise.)

Following old pathways, well-worn roads that form with routine actions like housework, frees our brains to think of creative ideas. That's why we often have great insights in the shower. So I guess I really should do more housework... I did spend my basement-cleaning time musing about my new WIP.

The bottom line: break out of your routine every now and then. Try new foods, go new places, write something wacky, or better yet write somewhere wacky... And then fold the laundry.

It's good for your brain.

4 comments:

  1. Great post! I'm between projects right now and am doing some "silly writing" too. It's so freeing not to be deadline-driven and product-oriented. And yes, some of my best ideas have come to me in the bathtub!

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  2. You're so right! Time to find a bigger box for my "stuff" so I can think outside of it, too.

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  3. I don't know. I always thought laundry gave me brain drain. But then again, I did come up with some pretty good ideas for the 2nd half of the Rocky book after folding socks yesterday.

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  4. Best of luck with your next project, Helen! And here's to hoping for great breakthroughs--even while folding socks--Kaylie and Michelle.

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