40 Ways to Boost Your Brain (Even If You’re The Dumbest Writer In The World)

By Lanre

Truth be told, some writers are DUMB!

Okay, not on a personal level, but we write dumb articles sometimes. Not that it’s our fault, but sometimes, we don’t do what it takes to produce quality.

So, let’s play a little game, shall we?

You’re in a square room, with four doors on every wall…

When you open the door in front of you (door 1), you see nothing but blazing fire…

When you open the door by your right (door2), your eyes glare at pitch black darkness.

When you open door 3 and try to go out, you step into a forest full of trees with fragile branches.

On launching toward door 4 which is behind you, you bump your head on a brick wall and out of frustration, you slam the door shut.

Now, for some reason, you know you can get out of there, but the question is how?

You really want to get out…

You really want to break writer’s block and show that client what you’re really made of…

You just want to get this article over with and move on to the next one….

But the ideas are not just pouring out as they should. Yes, you’re writing the article, but the paragraphs are not just fitting in together.

So you decide to take a break and on your return, nothing still happens.

Has this happened to you before? Well it has happened to me…several times. And the reason is clear…

Your Brain Needs Some Juice!

But not just any kind of juice- it needs juice that challenges its thought pattern. Creating content for the internet is more than just putting words together to make up an article with a particular number of words. In fact, with the growing number of freelance writers now and the need for quality content, writing ordinary articles should no longer be part of your game. You need to start creating intelligent content.

What’s Intelligent Content?

Intelligent content isn’t just an information based article. It is content that helps the client achieve a specific purpose which could be to sell a particular product, to make readers sign up to a newsletter, to enhance blog comments, or to cause social media shares. And to write such content, there are specific things you need to know. But first let’s look at the riddle above.

To solve the riddle, you need imagination, you need a strategy and you need to think in parts (in frameworks). This is exactly what writing intelligent content is all about. But to write using these three elements, you need to develop what scientists call your “Working Memory.”

In a 2008 study, Susanne Jaeggi and Martin Buschkuehi of the University of Maryland carried out research on a fundamental cognitive ability called “fluid intelligence” which is related to working memory. They further explained that,

“Working memory is more than just the ability to remember just a telephone number long enough to dial it; it’s the capacity to manipulate the information you’re holding in your head- to add or subtract those numbers, place them in reverse order or sort them from high to low. Understanding a metaphor or an analogy is equally dependent on working memory; you can’t follow even a simple statement like “See Jane run” if you can’t put together how “see” and “Jane” connect with “run”. Without it, you can’t make sense of anything.”

And as a writer, you’ve no choice but to make sense.

So, how do you develop your working memory?

You do this by challenging your brain to break out of its comfort zone. Below is a list of different games and activities you can engage yourself in that would definitely develop your working memory. Some are weird, and some have more effect on your intellect than others, so apply with discretion.

1. Challenge a friend to a game of chess.

2. Play chess on and with your PC every day.

3. Play a game of Sudoku 30 minutes daily.

4. Get a team of four and have a nice game of Scrabble.

5. Play Jigsaw puzzle with your kid (or with someone younger).

6. Memorize your grocery list before going to the store.

7. If you’re right handed, use your left hand to do important tasks such as eating, using your iPod, brushing your teeth or using your PC. If you’re left handed, use your opposite hand for these tasks.

8. Get dressed with your eyes closed.

9. Listen to music while walking in the garden and consciously smell the flowers.

10. Watch the movement of the clouds while listening for cricket sounds.

11. Break habits by driving a different route to work.

12. If you’re used to shopping at a particular grocery store, make a change.

13. Take a trip to anywhere of your choice.

14. Plait your doll’s hair with your eyes closed.

15. Run around your house naked, (as long as you don’t stay in a glass house). I stay in a house full of people, so I can’t do this. But it’s a work in progress :-).

16. Learn a musical instrument.

17. Attempt to solve a Rubik’s cube.

18. Play an action game.

19. Play a speed racing game like Need for Speed to work on your reflexes.

20. Close your eyes and identify objects by feeling them.

21. Play a word puzzle. Ask a friend to give you a random selection of letters while you form complete words from these combinations.

22. Pray for someone you hate.

23. If you wear your wrist watch on your left hand, wear it on your right hand for one day. Then change it back the next day.

24. Try to identify the colour of every car that passes you on your way to work, school or the store.

25. Learn to ride a bicycle if you don’t already know how to.

26. Joggle balls of different colours like a circus clown.

27. Write a poem (especially if you’ve never written it before). I’ve discovered that poetry involves thinking outside the box. I only started writing poems some months ago and I love it!

28. Play a game of dodge ball (with soft balls of course).

29. If you don’t cook, get to the kitchen and make something sumptuous….yum!!

30. Memorize one phone number on your contact list per day.

31. Draw the World map by tracing it and after 24 hours, draw it without tracing.

32. Identify one country on the map everyday and after 24 hours, try to remember what you memorized.

33. Learn to change a car tyre.

34. Learn the lyrics of a new song (rap would be best).

35. Memorize your QWERTY keyboard completely so you can type without looking at the keyboard (as a writer, this is an asset). I’m good with the letters, but the numbers…..O my gosh.

36. Try to remember the first names of everyone you meet today.

37. Imagine your future.

38. Learn how to knot a neck tie.

39. Take note of something good that your spouse, sibling or friend did that you’ve never noticed before.

40. Write a ton of articles daily, even if they make no sense.

Beware, after applying the above strategies, you are liable to get smarter; user discretion is advised ;-).

Take note that while you carry out the activities or play the games I stated above, reduce the amount of time you watch television or movies. According to the study stated above, too much television sends the brain into a neutral state and is void of thinking.

Now that we know different ways to develop our working memory and cause the brain to grow, let’s solve the riddle, shall we?

The answer is pretty simple. Remember I said that in door 3, you have a forest full of trees with fragile branches? Well, that means you can easily break them with your hands. So first, break off bunches of big branches from the trees. Next, open door 1 and set the tip of one of those branches on fire. Finally, open up door 2 and get out, with the torch in one hand and the other branches in the other hand, just in case the tunnel of darkness is hideously long. You have no business with door 4- it’s just a decoy.

My younger brother and I used to play such riddles and you too can think up survival riddles just like the one above- they’ll definitely help you think out of the box.

Your turn

Out of the 40 games and activities above, which ones would you carry out? I’d also love to know other games you think would help develop the brain.

Lanre Solarin is a Writers In Charge team member and he creates content for bloggers and entrepreneurs. Do you need intelligent content that brings results? Hire Lanre to think out of the box through writing.

About the Author

  • http://www.fitnessintuition.com runbei

    Get fit, eat well, avoid drugs & alcohol (& don’t smoke), avoid simple sugars and starchy foods, take care of your thyroid and adrenals, get out for long walks in nature. Works for me (I’m 71, a writer and editor since ’72).

    • Lanre Solarin

      Wow Runbei, that’s a pretty long time. I’m impressed. In fact, I’ll take your suggestions as “golden nuggets” for growing freelance writers like me ;). There’s nothing like having good health and still being able to work.

      Thanks for your awesome comment!

  • http://www.thinkfulfillment.net/blog Michael Agene

    Wow! Lanre, you hit it right there. I eat and do other things with my left hand often and these days, I discovered I can now use both hands almost equally. About the games, I seldom play games but I try chess once a while but I’ll try it more often now.
    One I’ll recommend though is changing your look; like your hairstyle. For guys, you could try shave all you beards and feel the new look.
    This is by far one of the most interesting post I’ve read here.
    Thanks, again.

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Michael, sincerely I’m always fascinated when I see people using left hands to eat and do major tasks. So, you’re really unique. Being able to use both hands almost equally makes you even more unique. Keep it up!

      As for changing hairstyles, I did that some time ago. Now, I just stick with what fits me. But yeah, it’s a welcome suggestion. It’ll definitely challenge your comfort zone with respect to your personal outlook.

      Thanks for your awesome comment Michael!

  • http://www.portugal-car-hire.net/portugal-car-hire/ Ortuga

    Great information. To me staying fit and being healthy is very helpful.

  • Daniel Kamau

    Mine is a bit involving, but I enrolled for tae kwon do classes and attend everyday. It has been a big help

  • http://www.beafreelancewriter.com/ebook Francesca Nicasio

    I LOVE your brain-boosting action steps, Lanre! They sound like fun and I’m definitely going to try some of them.

    I also think that the study you cited about too much television sending the brain into a neutral state is very interesting. I’ve experienced it first-hand, too.

    I do take a 1 to 2-hr break from my business everyday, and I’ve found that I actually write better when I spend my break time reading or doing something mind-stimulating. On the other hand, when I spend my time watching TV instead, I’m more prone to writer’s block and lack of inspiration.

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Francesca,
      You’re right, they’re actually fun!

      Taking breaks from business is really ideal. I usually take short 10 minute breaks at different intervals to do other activities that don’t involve writing. Watching TV really doesn’t help, especially when you know that you’ve still got work to do.

      Thanks for your awesome comment Francesca.

  • http://nancybadillo.com/101-plus-ways-to-increase-website-traffic/ Nancy Badillo

    Wow! This is an incredible list of ways to boost your brain. Thank you for sharing!

    Will be sharing this list with my blog community :-)

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for reading too :).

  • Tamar

    Good points in this posts, some are ridiculous as well. I think that running in your house in the nude is silly and irrelevant. Also, praying for someone you hate will only help you get rid of hatred.

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Tamar,
      Actually those activities are targeted at getting your brain to do what it doesn’t see as ‘normal’. Praying for someone you hate would not only help you get rid of hatred, but will also help you get rid of hurtful, distracting thoughts while writing. This will help you replace that hate in your heart with love and will remove those hot flashes of hurt from your mind, thus giving you less to think about.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Tamar

        I get your point Lanre, thanks for paying attention yo mu remarks. I appreciate that, really.

  • http://www.allbloggingcoach.com Asaolu olubayode Andrew

    You actually blew my mind away lanre with this your article. I’ve been search the web for best brains and intelligent dudes. I’m happy I found this blog. This blog gives hope, and the story of the blog owner inspires me a lot. ?Hª?Ks for the piece.

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Asaolu,
      Well I hope your mind landed safely back in your head bro? :).
      I’m glad you’re inspired. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.apnaahangout.com Arun Kallarackal

    I’m not the dumbest writer around. But I guess these tips will help me improve :)

  • http://healthyvow.com Je

    I love the 40th tip! I usually lose my “knack” of writing whenever I forget to write again for a day or two. I feel like my grammar is diffusing, lol!

    I hate playing chess and sudoku, but maybe I will try playing word games like scrabble and crossword. Great list!

  • http://authorvictor.blogspot.com Eze Victor Obinna

    Wow….what a masterpiece..it must have taken you time to compile this work….to enable the brain work better, I also suggest a good dieting will boost productivity when combined with this list of skills….am a medical student, I just found out about the valuable nutritional and antioxidant properties of garlic…taking little or more of it each day can make a whole lot of impact on the brain cells…..another brain storming skill is setting out days to meet people in your society, whom you’ve never seen or interacted with before, discuss with them, share your ideas and know about their own perspective, it will help to broaden one’s idea bank, giving you real life issues and ideas to write about…I hate fictions.

  • http://www.androidappsonpc.net/ Arbaz K

    Awesome post once again.
    I love playing chess and sudoku all the time. Though I never win at one, it gives me the challenging feeling that I want to win it but I always end up as a loser.
    Thanks for this great tips to boost our brain :)

  • http://www.jocuribarbie.pw Jocuri Barbie

    Great content and this Play a game of dodge ball (with soft balls of course) amezed me

  • Sharon Mwasi

    Thank you so much for the above article. It has really inspired me being. The fact that I really wanna put my brain to action and discover something great with my life.

  • http://promotivator.info Sam Adeyinka

    Hey Lanre,

    This are really insightful tactics that I really found interesting and that I so much resonated with. Some are very ridiculous and yet pose potency. I will of course try them out. I hope they work for me though and I’m sure you understand what that means.

    Thanks for this great share……… :)

    Sam is my name again!

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hey Sam,
      I’m glad you found the tips insightful and interesting :). Yes, some of them are actually ridiculous but you’ll be surprised at the effect they can have.

      Thanks for your awesome comment bro!

  • http://infolodge.net omoola sot

    The article is spot on I must say but looking through the list some thing might not work here in our own part of the country..

  • http://unhurriedchange.com Vivienne Johnson

    Hello Lanre, your article has really challenged my thinking.
    I always assumed that writers block was a lack of creativity yet most of your suggestions are either logic based or getting you out of a routine.
    This is really good news as sitting, waiting for ‘the muse’ to hit is not very practical and in my experience, you can wait a long, long time. Drawing with my left hand or learning a new skill though, that is easily done.

    • Lanre Solarin

      Hi Vivienne,
      If you’re a writer, then you definitely don’t lack creativity because writing involves a whole lot of it! Writers block is only a “break in transmission” which is occasional. These tips will just help you bridge that break and connect you back to your creative realm.
      All you have to do is pick the ones that work for you :)

      Thanks for your awesome comment Vivienne!

  • netty adys

    It’s fabulous! I look forward to reading it every day. Happy New Year 2014

  • netty adys

    It’s fabulous! I look forward to reading it every day. Happy New Year 2014

  • http://www.lifecommaetc.com/ Sarah Greesonbach

    Such great ideas here — they really caught me by surprise with how creative they actually are. The next time I have writer’s block, I’ll be referencing this!

  • http://www.finallywriting.com/ Jackie

    What a great list! I love the idea of exercising my brain, jump starting it with creative and surprising exercises to get the juices flowing.

  • http://waltersthinking.blogspot.com/ Walter Ruggieri

    It is all about using your brain to it’s full ability. I like to use my weaker hand to challenge my brain. I use my left hand on my track pad. It was hard at first, but since I started doing it, it is much easier. I also love to read and write which are two of the very best activities you can do for your brain.