Ok, who exactly do you think you are? I mean really… Who in the bloody hell isn’t gonna see right through this “poser” bullshit? Why don’t you just start writing a god-damned seminal novel while you’re at it? I’m sure The Pulitzer folks will be banging at your door any minute….
Just thinking about putting “pen-to-paper” or in this case finger-to-keyboard (way less dramatic), makes my pulse race, increases my breathing, and is causing my brain to laugh and beg me to, “stop this nonsense” all at once…. (Insert pic of woman throwing herself down on the floor here). After all, I’M NOT A WRITER!!! Anyone could tell you that. I’m a lot of things, but I’m sure as hell not a writer. In fact, when I started the journey to become a Nurse Practitioner and health coach, I realized that along the way, in order for me to actually be successful I was going to need to be able to help people from all over. which meant…
- A website (oh, shit).. ”Damn it Jim, I’m a nurse, not a tech geek!”
- Possessing some business knowledge (double shit).
- Writing to my audience…Somehow I have to convert all the passion I have for health, wholeness, and nutrition (which abounds in my brain and heart) and make these keystrokes translate into written eloquence. Oy vey!
Oh, but don’t worry…I have a brilliant plan <evil grin>
IT’S JUST SCIENCE KIDS!
One thing I have learned along my journey with my dysfunctional relationship to food “mumbo jumbo,” is that going to the darkside, the scaryside, IS good for your brain. Yep. I often like to say something I heard one day and it’s: “on the other side of fear is freedom.” To do this you need simply to familiarize your brain with a new, hard, or shall I say, unfamiliar task. We do this often in some respects. Let me explain.
Neuroplasticity. Huh? Yes, neuroplasticity. This, my friends, is how I will learn to be a wonderful writer. Wonderful too much? Ok.
How about an entertaining writer that doesn’t make you fall asleep…?
Neuroplasticity is an intimidating word but simply put, it means the ability to teach our brains new stuff. It is the change in the neural pathways and communications “railways” that enable us to change our behavior, environment, thinking and emotions. Not too long ago neuroscientists believed that by adulthood, the brain lacked the ability to “ebb and flow” and was just kinda stuck. Well, lucky for us, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! There’s this law in neuroscience called Hebb’s Law and essentially is says, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” So in order to get those neurons to start forming new connections (i.e., Train A is now going to bypass station 8 and stop in station 2, without any glitches) you have to think new thoughts. Not just once, but over and over and before ya know it, boom! New connections. In fact, here’s a cool study showing neuroplasticity in action with London taxi drivers.
Here’s a perfect example.
Think about the first day you walked into a new building on your first day of a new job. Remember how strange it all looked? How you were very nervous? You didn’t know which hallway to take, how all the buttons worked on that copy machine, couldn’t remember that one guy’s name who works down the hall. But over time, you knew every bit of that building, those people and that job like that back of your hand. Viola. Neuroplasticity. You formed new synaptic connections.
This is the brilliance of how I plan to climb that “writing mountain” or how you can tackle any new skill or learn new stuff! Want to learn a new language, learn to roller skate, learn how to origami? The mechanism of how this works is similar to pruning a garden. Your neurons kind of look like a tangly mess. Once you start to apply these principals, pruning away the old usefulness branches, the wiring actually changes into new connections! Initially those new connections will be weak. In order for you to strengthen them, you will need to continue to fire those connections which will strengthen them.
Initially, I don’t expect to build (or even write) to Rome in a day. But I understand that I must take baby steps and over time those new neural connects become like well-oiled machines. As a toddler is learning to walk and repeatedly falling, he is making new neural connections to allow his nerves to properly “talk” to his muscles and bones. Eventually those walking skills get permanently wired . This is how everyone learns anything new skill.
Even Mozart had to learn what a musical note was…..So, today decide on one thing that you want to start learning. And keep at it. Fall. Often. Just know that over time, your brain’s connections will make it so!