Monday, May 05, 2008

weekly writing coach: habit-forming

If you doubt your ability to learn new writing styles and skills -- or just improve the ones you have -- try learning new methods of developing new habits first. In "Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?" in the New York Times this weekend, consultants working in an executive change suggest "the more new things we try — the more we step outside our comfort zone — the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives."

Apparently, it's the exploration of new habits that helps to re-form your brain and, ultimately, expand your creativity. The problem? Many people stop at the point, early on, when trying something new seems difficult. Here's a simple example the consultants use:
“Try lacing your hands together,” Ms. Markova says. “You habitually do it one way. Now try doing it with the other thumb on top. Feels awkward, doesn’t it? That’s the valuable moment we call confusion, when we fuse the old with the new.” AFTER the churn of confusion, she says, the brain begins organizing the new input, ultimately creating new synaptic connections if the process is repeated enough.
Check out this valuable article, which also includes hints about discerning your own learning style, another key to creating new habits. Then try to apply these methods to a writing task you want to tackle or improve.

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