Leave It!

Leave it is a command I give my dog when I want him  to ignore something. It might be another dog, something on the ground, or a tree  he’s sniffing.

Leave it is also something I tell myself when I  reach a point in my writing where I’m not quite sure where I’m headed or the  scene just isn’t developing quite right. That’s the time to walk away from the  computer or the page (if you prefer writing long hand). That’s when I do something different: wash the dishes, take a walk, a shower or bath. My house  is its cleanest when I’m having problems with a story. A mess if everything is
going well.

Why leave it?

Scientists have discovered our brains cycle within  different ranges and that brainwaves that cycle within the range of 8-12 Hz are  usually generated in the brain’s right hemisphere or in a synchronized pattern  between both right and left hemispheres and these are the most creative brainwaves.  They’re referred to as Alpha brain waves.

On the other hand, Beta brain waves, which cycle at 12-35  Hz, are usually generated in the left side of the brain, and kick in when  feeling stress, feeling tense, and when logically thinking. They are considered  normal thinking brain waves for adults. They’re good if you need to think  quickly, need to be goal oriented, social, positive, focused, and energetic.
They’re activated when writing and working on ways to promote your writing.

But if you’ve run into a problem with your writing,  you need those Alpha brain waves, and they kick in when our minds and bodies  are completely relaxed and free of stress. (By the way, children tend to have  higher levels of alpha brainwaves than adults and tend to be more creative.  As we grow older those Beta waves increase,  and we start worrying about what others think of our ideas. We let the editors’,  reviewers’, and our critique partners’ comments limit our creativity. We run  into WRITERS BLOCK.)

Ever notice how you come up with great ideas while  taking a bath or a shower, just before you fall asleep, or while you’re  exercising? That’s because the alpha brainwave is associated with a completely  relaxed body and mind. The  10 Hz alpha brainwave frequency is commonly referred to as a “peak performance”  state of mind or being “in the zone.” So, in addition to bathing, doing  housework, or taking walks, try meditation, visualization, yoga, deep  breathing, even watching TV.

Keep those Alpha brainwaves cycling. Which is why I  say, “Can’t come up with another creative idea, then leave it!” (Go  have some fun for a while.)

* * * *

As an update. Zuri came through the operation fine,  but on day 4 of recovery he managed to tear the stitches out. So far we’re  keeping the incision clean and infection free, but he has an open hole near his  elbow, and we’re not sure how it will look when healed. We’re also waiting for  the results of the biopsy.

 

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9 Responses to Leave It!

  1. What an informative blog, Maris! You answered many questions I had about writers block. Happy to hear the surgery went well and poor Zuri is doing well 🙂 Happy thoughts and prayers to all of you!

  2. Jennifer Takacs says:

    Great post, Maris. Now I know why I get all these great story ideas when I go out running with my dog. I just need to get them written down before the Beta brain waves kick back in!

  3. Okay, I’m printing this out to keep as a reminder to Leave It! when I’m stuck on a scene or plot point. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Annette says:

    Thanks for permission to “leave it”, Maris. I’m one of those ones who hang on too long when getting away for a while is a better choice.

    All the best, Annette

  5. Anne says:

    Maris,
    Great blog piece. I agree with Loralee – I am going to print it so on those days when I am having a major blockage, I won’t feel so bad about it. Thanks for sharing the information.

  6. Excellent advice. I always do my best thinking while I’m in the shower or walking the dog. Now I know why. I’ve been following my instincts and “leaving” it.

  7. Diane Burton says:

    We must be on the same wavelength, Maris. LOL I was writing a post for Monday’s blog about writer’s block. Looks like that will be a post for later in the year. You make some really valid points. I didn’t know about the alpha & beta waves but it makes sense–esp. about children being so creative. Glad Zuri came through his surgery and that he’s on the mend.

    • Jhonnier says:

      We must be on the same wavelength, Maris. LOL I was wrtinig a post for Monday’s blog about writer’s block. Looks like that will be a post for later in the year. You make some really valid points. I didn’t know about the alpha & beta waves but it makes sense esp. about children being so creative. Glad Zuri came through his surgery and that he’s on the mend.

  8. Cheers for Zuri’s recovery. Nice touch pulling out the stitches. It means he’s feeling better!

    Thanks for permission to Leave it! Your words made some things very clear for me!