‘That part of the brain that senses danger, where instincts and gut feelings originate; primal thoughts; subconscious or involuntary processes; the amygdala’ (the amygdala is an almond shaped mass of nuclei located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain).
Do you, like me, find that you start a writing project and then become unmotivated somewhere along the line? This is exactly what happens when I excitedly begin a novel only to find that I develop something akin to boredom. The passion that was there at the beginning has gone and the motivation to progress to the end dwindles. So what do I do? Start another of course and then the same process begins again!
This is my lizard brain kicking in, or in other words – writer’s block. What is it that keeps me from progressing to the end of a plot that was all I could think about for weeks on end? My lizard brain stops me from taking risks, reins me back and urges me to play safe.
So how do I get my brain to overcome this mindset? Professional discipline is the answer! Why is it that it is only writer’s block that exists? Have you ever come across a professional, an accountant for example, who can’t do his job because of ‘accountant’s block’?
The first way to banish lizard brain is to realise that your novel won’t write itself. You will need to learn a disciplined way of writing. Set aside an amount of time each day, say 2 hours, where you can sit down and write. It doesn’t matter about anything else, forget the research you want to do because that can come later and just write. Set yourself a word limit. If you have only managed to write 250 words at each sitting – higher the bar. 1,000 words is doable. All that matters in the first instance is to get an initial draft down. Aim for between 60,000 to 100,000 words and once you have completed that draft it is then that the hard work begins.
Lizard brain be gone… self-discipline will get you to that goal of writing the novel you want to finish.