The museum of your mind
The memory is quite a remarkable thing which encodes, stores and enables retrieval of our experiences. You may well wonder where and how all of that stuff gets stored, why you can easily remember some things and not others. In simple terms information goes in, we encode it in such a way that makes sense to us, which is why no two people remember the same event in the same way.
Your memory is a pattern of stored connections. When we want to retrieve a memory, we are taken along a series of pathways (neural pathways), a bit like following a series of directions to an address, where the experience is retrieved and bought into view.
We have stuff in short term memory, the things we are currently actively thinking about and longer term, which is the stuff that is parked out of the way for now.
Just as wonderful memory is, it can let us down an often in the most awkward circumstances, you know those embarrassing moments when you go to introduce someone whose name you should know and it just doesn’t come out. Or as something is remembered we unconsciously relive it physically, possibly blushing or smiling.
Think of your mind as a museum, with lots of galleries, some of old masters, some highlighting different periods of time or themes, some more abstract and some just fragments of times long ago.
As we get older we seem to forget more things, which is according to the scientists is all part of natural ageing. All the more reason to write a book. Writing will certainly get your mental muscles working.
Where do ideas come from?
Ideas are all inside and outside of you, they are everywhere. The question is really how do ideas come to you and do they just pop into our minds or do ideas come as a result of lots of small things happening which, when a good connection is made creates a new idea pathway, so that a bit more of that idea is known?
Coding our experiences and emotions
In every moment we consume information through our five (or six) senses. These are laid down in your mind map using your language and coding structure waiting to be fertilised with another germ of an idea all waiting to be joined by that one all important connector, which creates the spark and drives it to the forefront of your mind until you get that eureka moment.
If you provide yourself with the opportunity to become creative by giving yourself space, people to collaborate with and time to reflect, you will be able to exchange and borrow ideas in order to cultivate new ones. Ideas can be incubated for years, but appear in what seems a moment with the right stimulus.
Thoughts and ideas come in through the right brain as the big picture and are filtered into detail in the left hemisphere with both sides working together to enable us to form relationships. What we as writers are looking for is the something that sparks us up and ignites the journey through the mind, to create an inspirational network of new ideas and things to write about.
Finding the right place to write or think in is paramount to creativity. In bed, the lounge, conservatory, your office, in your favourite comfy chair. It is important that you find a space or place where you feel at ease, which relaxes you, and enables you the comfort and space to begin to write.
If writing in bed allows your creativity to flow, write there. If you get disturbed, which may cause frustration and anger, go somewhere else and try to recreate the cosy feelings that your bed gives you. I write in a variety of places and at different times, not through choice but because I get annoyed and demotivated when I get disturbed. In each location I make the space work for me.
What else do you need in your space? For example if you are an auditory person you may like to have some music on, if you are kinaesthetic you might like to have nice things that you can feel and if you are visual you might like to be in a place where you can see lovely things.
There are other things that you may like, for example to burn incense or light a scented candle and if you love your food how about a nice cup of tea and some raw chocolates? Take some time out to consider your space, what needs to be there or not to make it the right writing and creative space for you?
Space is also giving yourself head space, finding ways to slow down the hustle and bustle of every day life and give yourself time to think. Reflective practise (aka staring into space) is good and is a perfect way to generate new ideas. Walking gives you room to think. The fresh air provides a vast openness for your thoughts to cascade through time. Sleep surrounds you in her warm and tender embrace allowing connections to be made whilst you slumber.
Writing your book
When it comes to writing your book, the museum of your mind holds many treasures. My job is to help you release the gold within in and turn it into a powerful personal branding tool. Books get written when you give yourself space and time.
What, when and where would your perfect space be?