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MRI Scans of Professional vs Novice Writers — Our Brains

Science reveals one thing full-time writers do, but amateurs don’t

Roughly half of participants were full-time writers, while the others wrote in their spare time

Erhard couldn’t allow participants to write on an electronic device, as it would have disturbed the

Instead, the team built a custom writing desk, which included a system of mirrors that enabled volunteers

Next, participants were given the opening line to a short story and asked to complete it

Erhard noticed a sharp contrast between the minds of professionals versus amateurs

Full-time writers demonstrated increased activation of the caudate nucleus — one of the brain’s centers for reward,

This is the first time scientists have quantified the difference between professional writers and hobbyists

It’s usually activated by food, water, sex, shelter, and social connection

It rewards you whenever you’ve eaten the proper amount, but it goes dormant if you over-indulge

And if you’re in the habit of going to the gym, the caudate nucleus will become

If you’re struggling to kickstart your writing career, I have excellent news

One of the primary reasons we never reach this positive feedback loop is because we trick our

Instead of writing more, you train yourself to keep daydreaming

Gabriele Oettingen from New York University discovered that people who fantasize about reaching their goals perform much

Fantasies allow you to skip over all the hard work and savor underserved feelings of accomplishment

Volunteers were asked to rate their chances of success and write a few sentences visualizing what they

But people who wrote the most detailed visions for the future were the least likely to succeed

I guess this means taking action is always superior to daydreaming

Sometimes, it takes sophisticated research to make us listen to what we already know to be true

Stop fantasizing about what it would be like to have millions of adoring fans around the globe

If you want to be a writer, there’s only one thing you need to do