Be Creative By Sean D'Souza How to work with your brain and avoiding Writer’s Block. Olive oil Aubergines Onions Garlic, Cinnamon, Oregano, Minced lamb, Tomato purée, Parsley And red wine Writing an article is like making a yummy dish called moussaka Making the moussaka takes a bit of work. The first port of call is, of course, the ingredients. You have to make that all-important trip to the supermarket, the butcher and the veggie store to get the ingredients. Then there’s the prep work, the cooking and finally, the serving. In short, four major steps. Article writing is a lot like making a dish There’s the outlining, the research, the writing and then finally the editing. And the best way to get frustrated and head right into Writer’s Block is to do all four steps at once. If you stop to think about it, it’s crazy. Just doing the outline will get you a bit tired. Then maybe it’s time for a bit of research, but even a little can get you pooped. By the time you get down to writing the article, you’re all wrung out. Who the heck is thinking of editing or formatting right now? All you want to do is get out of your misery. But this misery is pretty easy to avoid if you understand your brain If you notice, the brain works just fine in batches. It functions nicely when handling one thing at a time. But try and do all the stages at one go, and you get physically and mentally tired. Then you start making mistakes and of course the entire article often falls apart. You can’t think, you’re too tired to act, and now you believe that you’re not a writer after all. All you need is a bit of planning I know that you think you don’t have the time to break up a single article into several stages, but that’s the most efficient way to write. Here’s what to do: – You outline. – Then you do your research, if needed. – Then, possibly the next morning, you write. – Finally, let it sit for a while, then edit and tidy it up. Cooking, writing, dancing—any activity that requires brain power also requires the brain to power up and power down; to have rest periods so that the enthusiasm and energy come flooding back. The gap between different stages gives you time so you can think and ideas can percolate, giving your article a better chance of being a work of art instead of it becoming a chore. But can’t you get it all out in one go? Yes you can. There are times when you’re all fired up and turn out that dish from start to finish. But in most situations, you want to work with your brain, and work in stages. Stages allow for much better, less frustrating articles. And yes, yummy moussaka. Bon appétit. Or should we say, “kali orexi!”? Do you write in stages and does it help beat writer’s block? Share in the comments below!