Have you ever been just a teensy bit late to an appointment because you couldn’t put your book down? Or clicked on just one more episode of Breaking Bad, even though you needed to get up early the next morning?
Why is it that we behave like that – when we know it’s against our best interests?
We were curious.
Curious? Just how is curiosity tied to busting writer’s block?
I’m confident your curiosity will keep you reading this chapter to find out!
Curiosity stimulates the striatum, the same area in the brain that regulates physical hunger and is associated with motivation and reward. Researchers have found that satiating these powerful drives creates a physiological disregard for dangerous or painful consequences. Curiosity may indeed have killed the cat!
Are you curious about how you can corral this knowledge to keep you writing?
Answer: Keep your brain in curious-mode! Sometimes, when I’m on a writing roll, I will deliberately stop in the middle of a scene – or even a sentence – so that my brain will be excited to pick up again tomorrow to see how it all turns out. (I always write tidbit notes about where I’m going, though, so I don’t lose the flow.)
This way, my brain percolates on the uncertainty, it stays curious, and – as brains are wont – will be relentless about returning to solve or complete the “problem” (in this case, my scene)….And I will be compelled to put butt in chair the next day!
In my writers’ workshops and retreats, I share my seven favorite ways for keeping your readers on edge by piquing their curiosity. Hollywood has this down; we writers should, too!
What book or TV show has piqued your curiosity recently? Share in the comments.
Kelly Hayes-Raitt admits she sleeps around. Usually with animals.
More on that in a moment…
Her passion is helping writers get their books jumpstarted. Her coaching clients call her “inspiring,” and students in her workshops rave about her unique teaching techniques. Learn more about working one-on-one with Kelly at www.JumpStartMyBook.org.
Or join her in Cape Town, South Africa, February 1 – 10, 2020, for a magical writing retreat to jumpstart your book! www.JumpStartMybook.org/writers-retreat/
OK, the sleeping around thing? She’s a full-time housesitter and has been traveling the world for the past decade. She’s learned a thing or two about housesitting and shares her knowledge and experience in her popular book How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva available in soft cover or Kindle at Amazon or ebook on her web site www.HouseSitDiva.com.
Before nomading, Kelly reported live from Iraq during the early weeks of the U.S.-led invasion. Her journalism has won several literary awards and has been widely published in anthologies. The girl’s got stories.
The book that recently piqued my curiosity was the devils dance by Hamid Ismailov. Basically because of my recent trip to Uzbekistan and the fact that there is very few Uzbek literature. It was a wonderful book.
I agree that curiosity is extremely important. It is a performance that we should all do constantly even in the middle of a fight. It works wonders in the midst of hard conversation–being curious about what the other person is saying. I like the idea of ending writing in the middle of a sentence.