I was checking out Cavan Scott‘s blog (as you do) when I noticed this post: Writers’ habits, mugshots and tonight’s reading at the Bristolcon Fringe. Apart from admiring the correct use of apostrophes I was pleased to read about Cavan’s description of his habits. If you read on you’ll find out why and I’d be interested to hear from others.
Habits, NLP and anchoring
I don’t cover it much but apart from writing I do an amount of training as part of my day job. In some of the course I touch on various topics from the realm of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). Included here is the idea of anchoring which I teach as part of a course on presentation skills. I have added a wiki link for those really interested in reading further. Anchoring is about training your mind to react to stimuli to enter a particular state. You may have heard of Pavlov’s dog for example in which dogs associate the sound of a bell with being fed and then salivate just on hearing the bell.
Now I’m not comparing Cavan to a laboratory animal, he’ll be glad to know, instead he is using a trick also used by top athletes to get himself into the frame of mind he wants for writing. Whenever you see footballers (rugby, cricket, hockey…) players take to the pitch they have certain rituals they perform. These tend to get dismissed as superstitious but that is a naïve interpretation; what is happening is that they are triggering themselves ready for the match.
Why was I so pleased?
I’m in the process of producing something fairly substantial (hopefully around July this year ) on the subject of the use of psychological understanding and how it can help a writer be more conscious of how they can work even better than they currently do. I have just written a piece on the use of anchoring and needed some examples. With his mug, notebook and pen Cavan has given me a great example. Cheers!
If anyone else has any habits they also use to get in the mood for writing do get in touch – I like to use pencil when I write, only use one side of the paper and always use A3 to be creative. We all do it!