Continue reading at the end to find out our extra special guests coming to Apex Writers including two New York Times Bestsellers!
David Farland’s 5 Tips to Increase Your Brain Power
The annual National Novel Writing Month is held each month in November and I want you to join. Since 1999, almost 800,000 novelists have completed 368,000 novels during NaNoWriMo, and it’s time for you to be excited because you could be the next big thing in writing. To help you with that, this month I will be posting tips and tricks to guide you through your writing process from getting ideas to writing your last words.
Today, I’ve got some ideas to help you increase your ability to write and to brainstorm.
1. Learn Your Own Biorhythms
The right side of your brain, the creative side, wakens and falls asleep on a cycle that is separate from your conscious mind. One signal that it is awake is that during the night, when it wakens, a person will often attain REM sleep. In other words, you’ll be having vivid dreams. It also tends to waken before your left-hemisphere, and then it will nap during mid-day.
In order to reach your creative potential, both hemispheres of your brain need to be active and working in conjunction. Thus, I find that I write my best in the morning. By two in the afternoon, I lose a great deal of creativity, and I find that I can often only edit later in the day.
2. Avoid Dependence on Alcohol or Other Drugs
I know some authors who like to have a little buzz going. They feel that after a few beers they are less inhibited and can lay down their daily words more easily. But often those same writers find themselves so drunk by noon that they can’t find the keyboard. Other drugs, such as LSD and mescaline, cause far more problems than they resolve.
I know writers who have written well while on speed, but too often it interferes with a writer’s critical sensibilities. Once again, I wouldn’t risk it. There are some good studies that show that people who smoke too much weed lose their desire to excel. Once again, it’s a bad idea.
3. Learn What Foods Help You To Be More Creative
For example, I find that if I eat an egg for breakfast, I am able to concentrate more deeply (eggs are a brain food, rich in choline). Ginkgo biloba is also helpful, as are heavy doses of B-vitamins. Rather than taking anti-depressants, try eating almonds to raise your serotonin levels naturally. There are a number of herbal concoctions, such as Deep Thought, that combine both vitamins and herbs to help you reach a contemplative state. I find that taking green tea instead of colas allows me to get a little energy boost while writing, without getting jittery.
4. Give Yourself a Break
When you’re writing, take breaks every two hours or so in order to give your eyes a rest and perhaps eat a small snack so that your blood sugar doesn’t drop too low. But when you take your breaks, keep a note pad handy, so that you can capture any stray thoughts that might occur to you about your writing.
5. Try Some Exercise
Many people find that they are most creative after sustained, intense physical exercise. Native Americans, for example, would often run for hours in order to initiate a “vision quest.” I like to run or work out on a daily basis, and I strongly recommend it not only for the creative boost but also to help keep at an optimum weight.
In short, you need to get to know your body. You may find that certain drugs or illnesses limit you, while others seem to help deepen your focus. You need to recognize your own strengths and weaknesses, and begin to see your mind as a tool–one that needs to be renewed and honed until it is razor sharp. I’ll leave it up to you to begin this voyage.
If you’d like more motivation, I’ve created a course called “The Story Puzzle” which you can buy individually, or as a bundle on mystorydoctor.com. For those of you who want even more assistance, come to apex-writers.com and join our writing group where we will be holding daily writing sprints where authors work together to create their novels, get individualized feedback, and grow stronger as a community together.
P.S. keep reading to learn about some special guests coming soon to Apex Writers!
Daniel Andrew Wells is an American horror and science fiction author. Wells’s first published novel, I Am Not a Serial Killer, was made into a movie in 2016. A former student of David Farland at BYU, a true hometown hero for the state of Utah.
If you read fantasy and sci-fi, chances are you’ve heard of Brandon Sanderson, whether that’s from The Way of Kings, Mistborn, Skyward, Steelheart, or Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. Brandon has become one of the most recognizable authors of the 21st century, and now he’s coming to www.apex-writers.com