Welcome to The Bump House

Monday, January 24, 2011

Water, Soil & Growth

I love plants. Especially when they're new. Before I've had a chance to degrade their soil, forget to water or disregard them as another part of the furniture. When I realize they're droopy, slouchy & pale, guilt sets in. I grab the water, whisper sweet nothings in their leaves & promise to pay more attention. Alas, time lapses & most will eventually return to the soil a shriveled, withered mess of single vine - the one hold out who begged in vain.

The brain is much the same as that houseplant - hydration, information & connectivity. Virna DePaul wrote an article in the latest RWR magazine about this very topic. Growing the writing works in tandem with growing the brain. Shears optional.

Light a Fire - Find what you are passionate about; write it. Topics that make the heart race, the breath shorten are those worth pursuing. When envisioning a new tale, autonomic responses fuel the brain & imagination takes over.

Know the Destination - Road trips & writing have similar characteristics. A road map, a plane ticket; both delineate the final destination. Know where you're going with the story, agent procurement, publication, career, etc. & the work has a defined purpose without the crooked mile to distract the brain.

Get Proactiv(e) - One of the hardest things for me is identifying the blemishes in my own novels. Working with a critique group, beta readers, a spouse/friend that pets the ego but isn't afraid to point out the big zit on page 55 - these help improve the work & the brain at the same time. No fumble, no foul & the brain remembers how to avoid the oozer in subsequent writing.

Reward Thyself - No Pavlovian maneuvers here. Slobbering isn't attractive anyway. Break points in the process deserve chocolate or other treats. I'm a fan of chocolate. All those positive, feely-good endorphins swirling into my tummy. Who could pass on that? Not me. Besides, what makes the innards happy works for the brain as well. Happy brain = better words.

The brain & the writing work in tandem. Tired brains write lazy prose. Happy brains sing through the fingertips & onto the page. Feed the brain, build the skills.

Happy Writing,



  1. How obvious. Knowing where you're going helps the words flow.

    Came to the same conclusion last week. Maybe I solved the problem of creating new content for my website.

  2. Well, ya know. All that brain stimulation usually comes out in the webiverse at some point.
    Thanks, Kay.