Nanwrimo and the Young Writer’s Program, Day 2

The first 53 words

Here is my son’s writing from yesterday – and I don’t know if you can see it, but at the bottom is reads: “hallo Nanowrimo, I love doing this!” How cute!!! 😀

Now, I doubt very much I’ll get in to report on our progress every day, but while I’m able I thought I’d keep you all updated on how my son and I are going.

Today was a slow day for me. I got my word count: 1799 words to be exact, but the writing is still feeling sluggish. DS (Dear Son, for those unsure of what I mean), didn’t want to bother at all – until I reminded him of the awesome t-shirt he’ll be getting at the end, and offered him chocolate as incentive. More specifically, I said that whoever got to their word goal first, would get a row of chocolate. (I should note, that I never bribe my kids with chocolate, so that was a big thing). He won, easily, of course, having only 50 words in comparison to my 1667 word goal. *sigh* next time I will make the challenge harder.

Once he got into it, he wrote his words really quickly, his main character killing of the dragon in record time, and then going home to eat tea and go to bed. I then made hin write another sentence, getting his word count for the day up to 60 words, with a total wordcount of 113. Doing well so far…

My biggest problem I think is that I am still editing as I go – damn inner editor – be gone!! DS got quite worried about proper spelling, stopped now and again to ask me how to spell something. I had the discussion with him about how November is a time for writing, not worrying about spelling and grammar (he may only be 6, but he’s almost better at it than I am lol), and that December is the time to fix all that stuff up.

How’s your writing going?  If you are participating in Nanowrimo – are you reaching your goals?

Don’t forget, I have four copies of The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton to give away this month, all you have to do to get your name in the draw is comment on any post! :D (For more info check out this post)

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Scientific Proof of an ‘Inner Editor’

I learnt something new today. There is an area of our brains called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. This is responsible for planning and self-censorship, and could quite easily be called the ‘inner editor’.

It is so important when writing to turn off the inner editor and give your creativity free reign, and a Dr Charles Limb has undertaken a study which shows this is exactly what happens when we get into the ‘zone’. By using an MRI, Dr Limb has found that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (aka the inner editor) actually shuts off during periods of improvisation and creativity, and others parts of the brain such as those connected to the senses , and those linked with autobiographical story-telling become especially lively.

Having completed Nanowrimo several times over, I know the feeling of getting into the zone – your fingers are flying across the laptop, a story emerging on the screen – one that with every word is diverging from what you had so clearly and cleverly planned out in your mind (or even on paper). Characters go off on tangents completely unexpected, once one even argued with me about how he was being portrayed! When you reach that zone, the story comes through you – almost from somewhere else (and hey – maybe it IS from somewhere else). When you give your creativity full reign amazing things happen.

I’ve known that for a while – but Dr Limb has found something equally amazing! Creativity engages the whole brain – far more than most other activities and beyond what is required for normal functioning. Creativity exercises the brain in a way little else can. What a great way to keep it sharp, clever, alert! I could not think of a better way to exercise your brain!

For more information on this – Dr Limb was interviewed by the Office of Letters and Light (Nanowrimo’s parent company), here: http://blog.lettersandlight.org/post/23737084352, which links through to a video of Dr Limb on TED.

And for anyone interested… A snippet of story has found its way into my brain, so I have signed up for CampNano in June!! Maybe I’ll see you there! 🙂