January Jumpstart Jan 9 Your Whole Brain

This is image is older because we now know that there are other things that use the entire brain, one of them being writing. This is important to me, because my mother died of Alzheimers 7 years ago (on Jan 14th), and I want to make sure I don’t have go that way too. My mother didn’t use her brain enough… she rarely read anything, and it was usually just magazines, not books, and she never wrote anything, other than letters. She was pretty good about that, but email confounded her and she hated the “new-fangled cell phones” and refused to use one. My stepdad posted things to Facebook and a family email group for her, because she never learned how to type. I think these two things, along with smoking and drinking, were her downfall. She did do some creative pursuits like sewing and painting, but as time went on, she stopped doing these too.

Because I felt bad about my mother’s lack of intellectual pursuits, I threw myself into them. Reading, books and the library were my life. Writing became an extension of all of that reading. While I didn’t do as well in school as I would have liked, I enjoyed learning new things and I still do. I was always told I wasn’t living up to my potential and the school’s expectations and I would learn why when I was 38, when I was diagnosed with ADHD. I would also be diagnosed with OCD, DID and PTSD, years after the fact, but they still interferred with my education and learning ability.

But all of this didn’t stop me from wanting to read and learn as much as I could. In fact, books and the library became a refuge from the pain and the trauma.

When I worked at middle school, they started giving staff seminars and workshops on how the brain worked. Suddenly, things started to make sense to me. I’m still fascinated about how the brain works.

So when I read the following, it all started to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle:

‘I just read something in an issue of The New Yorker Magazine about writing that really captured my attention.

“The subjects were given a few sentences from a short story to copy verbatim, in order to establish a baseline (during a CATscan type of imaging), and were then told to ‘brainstorm’ for sixty seconds and then to continue writing ‘creatively’ for two more minutes. It was noted that during the brainstorming part of the test, magnetic imaging showed that the sensorimotor and visual areas were activated; once creative writing started, these areas were joined by the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the left inferior frontal gyrus, the left thalamus, and the inferior temporal gyrus. In short, writing seems to be a whole brain activity… a brainstorm indeed.”*

*The Next Word” by John Seabrook Oct 14, 2019 Issue of The New Yorker’

Other things that I found that supported this idea and that I found interesting included:

“Myth #1 – Humans Only Use 10% of Their Brain

That’s a load of hooey.

Neuroscientists exist to study the brain; they’ve been doing it for years and have gotten pretty good at it. They take their work seriously, but if you ask any one of them about the “unused section of your brain,” they’ll probably laugh at you.

Myth #2 – The Left Brain and the Right Brain

The second myth that we need to bust is a very widely held belief. That of the left brain and the right brain.

Many believe that the human population can be split into two categories: the analytical left-brain thinkers and the creative right-brain thinkers.

While some people can be defined by their logic and some by their creativity, it’s not the side of the brain they most use that gives them those traits.”

This information came from a site called Craft Your Content and the article is called Science Behind Writing Brain. https://www.craftyourcontent.com/science-behind-writing-brain/

On the Writing Cooperative on Medium, I found this article:

“If you understand the different types of thinking available to you and understand your how your brain works then you’ll find it much easier to create quality work. The first thing to realise is that the styles of thinking come in oppositional pairs.

This is important to remember because it is highly unlikely that you would be able to do both at the same time. It’s also very likely that you’d favour one style over another during the course of your writing career. This may leave deficits your ability to write/edit your own work.

The four oppositional pairs are:

Creative Thinking vs. Analytical Thinking

Convergent Thinking vs. Divergent Thinking

Concrete Thinking vs. Abstract Thinking

Sequential Thinking vs. Holistic Thinking“* https://writingcooperative.com/the-8-styles-of-thinking-unlock-awesome-writing-by-rewiring-your-brain-a0800d9eb9a1

This made sense to me in so many ways… Although we are all humans, we have very obvious differences in ideas, beliefs, needs, desires… And although we all have a brain, how it works has very subtle differences and can be seeing how how we chose to communicate, how we learn, how we think, how we speak and more…

This is why education was so difficult for me. The school wanted me to learn their way and I needed to learn my way. I’m glad that schools are finally starting to get the message and realize that since not everyone learns the same way, we all need to be taught in ways that help each of us learn the best.

That’s how learning about how the brain works in regards to reading, writing and learning can make a huge difference, including in how we write.

And how does the music graphic relate to this? Music is a form of communication, notes are like letters of the alphabet and it’s own form of language. Studies have shown that people who learn about music often have an easier time time learning to read.

So there ya go.

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