How to Write: Use Both Sides of the Brain in Your Writing

Have you ever experienced a time when you were so involved in something, you lost track of time? Have you ever been in what they call the “zone?” Are there other times you were exceptionally logical and analytical about what you are doing?

This is because you operate on two sides of the brain. Researchers say, you have two sides of your brain. Your left brain is the thinking, reasoning, analytical and critical part. The right brain is the more creative side, visual, interpretive, intuitive– that is the part of your brain you use when you want to create, relax and enjoy the experience.

You use two different parts of the brain when you create and when you evaluate. They interfere with each other. During the creative process, you will write better if you turn off the critical, analytical part of your brain. When you write your first draft, don’t worry about how you say things. Write freely, go with the flow and enjoy. Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling or grammar. If you want to look up a word or fact, draw a line there or place a star so you’ll know to go back.

This method gets the raw gems out and down on the paper. Then you can go back and refine your treasures. Once you are in the left brain, critical mode, you can rewrite and edit what you have written.

In the beginning, you may be discouraged about how many mistakes you make as you learn how to write. I understand those feelings. However, every writer makes mistakes even experienced writers. Some writers get their books published and even after the edits, find mistakes. That is why we edit and rewrite. Before submitting a piece for publication, it’s essential to send your work to someone else for critiques and edits.

I write 100% better than when I started but I am careful to rewrite and edit my work. After I let my right brain enjoy the writing process, my left brain has a chance to kick in and correct. Even then I still make mistakes. You will probably find mistakes from time to time in my writing and I appreciate your feedback. When have you ever had a teacher or coach offer to let you correct them? LOL! Learn from me, every good writer is willing to receive correction. That is why they say “Every writer is a good re-writer.”

This is the model I encourage you to follow throughout your writing process whether you have been writing for a while or you are learning how to write. First, turn off your left brain and let your right brain, creative side, run free. Enjoy yourself as you write. Second, turn on the left brain and rewrite. You need both sides of your brain to be a good writer. Now that you understand the function of the right and the left brain, use them at different times to produce your best writing.

How about you? What works for you in your writing? I’d love to hear your experience so share in the comments below.


7 Responses to “How to Write: Use Both Sides of the Brain in Your Writing”

  1. Ron Edwards

    Hi Sharon,
    I have only read a couple of your articles on “How to Write” but learned a lot already. When I have more time will return.
    God bless, Ron

  2. Sharon Gibson

    Thank you Ron! Good to see you here. I’m glad you learned something. I will look forward to your return. 🙂

  3. Shari England

    So true Sharon, though it is still somewhat of a struggle for me, the perfectionist. But I’m working on it. One thing I also do as I write freely is to highlight a sentence or phrase to remind me to look it up later for accuracy or origin, as sometimes I can remember only a part or and idea of a quote or thought, but don’t want to stop the flow at that moment to look it up.

  4. Anne Peterson

    Sharon, really good post. And we sure have experienced this over and over. I think it’s interesting to me that when I read other people’s work I often do it analytically. This has gotten me in trouble when the writer just wanted to know what I thought. 🙂

  5. Sharon Rose Gibson

    Thanks Anne for taking the time to comment. I’m glad it was helpful.
    Yes, I can so relate to analyzing other’s writing. I guess it comes with the territory of being a writer. 🙂 I do try to look for message though over getting it “right” because when it’s all said and done, message is what sticks with people.

  6. Toni

    I can truly see the wisdom of this. Now, to engage…. Well, make that disengage so I can engage. 😉 Thank you for your insight, Sharon!

  7. Sharon Rose Gibson

    You’re so welcome! I’m glad you found this helpful. Understanding this has changed the way I write and has freed me tremendously.