Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Exercising the Right Brain

Yesterday's post led me into some information about how to stimulate the right brain. As a writer, it is important to use both sides of the brain to their fullest potential. The left brain is responsible for language, logic, keeping track of details, and organization. All of these things are crucial to a coherent story. But, those things don't add up to an amazing story. Creativity is needed for that. And that's where the right brain comes into play.

The problem is, our society places higher importance on the left brain than the right. So our left brain is constantly being exercised and growing (not literally), while our right brain my not be getting the attention it deserves.

In the video below, author Whitney Ferre talks about her book "The Artist Within: A Guide to Becoming Creatively Fit" and her Creatively Fit Program. The program's goal is to develop right brain thinking so that our left and right hemispheres operate in perfect balance.

I found her comments about "setting the mood" for the right brain to be particularly interesting. If lighting a scented candle or incense, listening to music (or practicing an instrument), or even placing a bouquet of fresh flowers on my desk before I start writing could help my creative process, then I'm all for it! And when I think about it, I have noticed that I'm particularly inspired to write after going to the theater or opera or visiting an art gallery.

Do you do anything to stimulate your right brain before you start writing (painting, drawing, listening to or creating music, singing)? Or while you write (filling your writing space with art, lighting candles or incense, placing fresh flowers or plants on your writing desk)?


  1. So funny - my husband and I were just having a conversation yesterday about how if/when we were to have kids what sorts of activities etc we'd do with them to help them develop their creativity/right brain. Thanks for the awesome post! Now I really want to check out the rest of what this lady says!

    As for me, now, I definitely do a pre-write music session, but now I'm thinking candles, work on my art projects a bit, and then dive into writing. Sounds fun!

    1. Isn't that weird when that happens? I think making sure kids use their left and right brains equally would be a huge challenge just because of the way society and our lives are organized. But it's definitely something worth thinking about and trying to do!

      I think I'm going to start a pre-writing, right brain warm-up routine too :) Definitely sounds like fun :)