October 13, 2010

Right Brain Practicing

Posted in Practice Writing tagged , at 9:15 am by Rebecca Hein

Classical musicians are exhorted to pay attention and practice with a plan. I did this for years until it stopped working and I could no longer control the direction of my thoughts. I had no idea what was wrong.

The problem was more subtle in my writing. I felt that I was working against myself and somehow unable to move forward.

After I found the solution for cello practice, it transferred easily to writing: let my mind float around all my various problems of tone, pitch, and rhythm. This worked because it activated my right brain, which thinks in the sensory images and emotional memories that are the heart of creativity.



  1. It’s all well and good to speak of tone, pitch, and rhythm in writing but how does one prevent one’s work from being a rant? I want my How I Was Razed memoir to be factual but also impactful. I feel tempted to call the cult leader every insulting name but I need to restrain myself lest I lose my readership. I still haven’t mastered the technique of showing. Perhaps I should set aside my manuscript for a week and fire up my Roland Juno 60 and Realistic MG-1. Maybe while I experiment with electronic music, an answer for my book’s tone will come.

    • Rebecca Hein said,

      Just as important as Incubation as a method for problem-solving is practice writing. I’ve worked out more difficulties of tone, structure, and raw emotion in my practice writing than through any other technique. Just do a bunch of freewriting on the problem of your feelings and see what happens.

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