09 January 2010

Rubber Writer Girl

Writing streeeeeeeeeetches a person. Honest.

Think about it, high school teachers and therapists ask people to journal. Scientists journal to keep track of what they’re discovering—or not. Leonardo de Vinci kept journals. Teenage girls are practically required to have a diary. It’s an epidemic!

OK, maybe not an epidemic. But it is a very, very common practice that is encouraged or required in many cases. Why? Because writing accesses areas of the brain that speaking doesn’t. Writing encourages brain cells that can sleep through a long conversation to wake up and get to work. No, that’s not a real, scientific explanation. I’m a writer, not a scientist (though I woldn’t mind playing one on TV)

When we put new brain cells to work, we sometimes open up new pathways. We connect one thing with another. One mental file triggers another. For instance, when brainstorming, a person may make connections to things they’ve written down and a new idea is born.

Writing down new information assists in the learning process. A person is likely to remember something they wrote down better than something they simply said. Ever remembered what was on a list even if you don’t have that list with you? Some people can’t remember things well unless they write them down. There’s a name for that type of leaning, but I can’t access it right now. Personally, I’m a visual learner. I learn better when I see, or write something down so that I can see it. I’ve heard experts say that no matter what type of learner a person is, the more senses get into learning a subject, the easier it is to learn the material. Writing brings touch and vision into the mix (and sound if you count the tap of the keys, or the sound of the pencil on the paper).

Writing can tap into the subconscious, which is probably why therapists like to encourage journaling. It’s possible to start writing anything that comes to mind and wind up with the solution to a problem or a new and exciting idea. Which brings me to the next subject.

Writing also increases creativity. I’m not sure there’s any scientific proof of this, but I do know that people seem to be able to tap into some kind of creative well when they write. Writers call tapping into this well accessing their muse.

So, we have better learning, accessing new brain cells, accessing the subconscious, and increased creativity. I’d call that stretching. There you have it. Writing can stretch a person, and you don’t have to be a writer to use it.

Now that I’ve written all that, I need to stretch. Until next time!


Post a Comment