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How to signal your brain, “It’s time to write!”

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a switch in your brain that you could flip when it’s time to write? Well, I don’t have the technology to do this, but I might be able to offer you something close by introducing you to a concept called anchoring.

I formally learned the term “anchoring” only recently. However, after reading up on this technique I realized that I’ve been practicing anchoring without even knowing it.

Anchoring is a way to transition quickly into a certain state of mind, like the writing mood, by using the same signals over and over again. These signals (also called anchors or triggers) are typically things that you can hear, see, or feel and that, with repeated use, become associated with the response you are looking for.

To illustrate anchoring, let’s look at the three things I do immediately before every writing session to anchor my mind and focus my thoughts.

1. Start the spa music channel on my iPhone (i.e., an auditory anchor)

2. Turn on the Himalayan salt lamp on my desk (i.e., a visual anchor)

3. Pop a couple of trident bubble gum pieces in my mouth (i.e., a gustatory/taste anchor)

Other types of anchors are ones that trigger your olfactory senses. For example, an essential oil diffusing into your writing space may make a great anchor for you. Or, you could try a kinesthetic anchor, like breath work.

Like me, you may have been accessing anchors and not even known it. If so, actually understanding that there is a science behind it may help you use these signals in an even more effective way. If you haven’t been using triggers, then I hope this brain conditioning technique is a useful tool for turning that writing switch “on” when you need it.

Having more anchoring ideas? I would love to hear how you signal your brain it’s time to write.

Author's Note: This article was originally written in my role as Chief Content Officer for Lisa Baker Associates.

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