The Effective Author: Nurture Your Brain with Novelty
©2016 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
This week, I was reminded of the power of novelty for us, as writers. I had a fresh experience that turned out in unplanned ways. Then the mere three hours of novelty led to a powerfully creative day and a huge, happy burst of writing. Newness opens up our brains. I believe we each need to take novelty breaks, to be as much The Effective Author as possible. Besides, novelty can be fun.
Recently, I got another invitation to another political thing. I didn’t even want to read the email. BO-RING! Yet, strangely, I felt compelled to read the pitch. It was from the organization Local First Arizona for a reception with Congressman Ruben Gallego. I had an intuitive sense that I ought to go. I fought it. I didn’t want to want to go. I thought I shouldn’t take the time away from the office; it might suck my energy. I am an introvert, and groups can tire me out. I had writing deadlines, people to loop back to, domain registrations to renew. Besides, this event would be downtown, at breakfast time. I’m slow in the morning, and I would have to get up by 5 to get to the venue on time and be half cogent. I so did not want to want to go to this event. But intuition kept nagging that it would be good, even fun.
Knowing intuition is always right, for me, I caved to it and bought my ticket. But my mental brain still kept coming up with reasons for me to cancel:
- My husband had the stomach flu and I should stay home to take care of him.
- I had another meeting the night before and wouldn’t be as rested as I would have liked. I might be boring.
- I had not had time to put together the right look.
Oh well. With intuition at the helm, finally, I was out the door and off to downtown, GPS muttering away. At the venue, the parking was $5 cash, so there was a good excuse to not stay: I had only a twenty with me. I went in anyway, registered, and asked about getting change for the parking. No change was available, so I had to move my car. Are you sensing a pattern here? My rational brain wanted to avoid the event. Dozens of other people had the same challenge with the cash-only parking for the venue, and many were moving their cars to less convenient spots.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Law of Unintended Consequences? Here, during the parking adventure, is where the good and unanticipated effects started coming through. Wanting parking as close as possible, I found a strange row of diagonal metered parking, payable by card. Score! Eagerly approaching my meter, I found its screen blank and controls unresponsive. Could I just call it a free space and quickly walk the block back to the event? Would anyone notice? Other refugees from the cash-only parking were rapidly taking the remaining diagonal spaces.
Magically, as if out of nowhere, two uniformed City of Phoenix workers suddenly appeared, pushing unique carts with parking meter gear. As eight of us had arrived at once in this diagonal row, we all quickly discovered that most of the meters either had blank screens or were otherwise broken. The workers were courteous but chiefly recommended we all find parking structures somewhere. Seriously! Clearly, urgency was not their specialty. I actually accepted their direction to switch spaces, thus getting a meter they quickly reprogrammed. At last I paid successfully, with a card. All this nonsense set me up to be at exactly the right places at the right times for novel experiences over the next couple of hours.
Next to me, at the meters, was a woman I had met at the cash-only parking, and we started trading tips about dealing with those particular meters. I shared the secret of the “time minus” button with her. We hurried back to the venue together and introduced ourselves as we walked back in. By the end of the gathering, we had shared a great breakfast, sat with a Congressman, exchanged business wisdom, and become fast friends. Not only does she have a business I can greatly help with referrals, but we have much in common and live a few blocks apart! At our breakfast table was another woman with a unique business, and the three of us had a little power session, brainstorming how to take her business to the next level. So the three of us were friends by the end of the event and have already done some power connecting for each other. The breakfast and coffee were delectable, teaching us that the Fair Trade Café has amazing food.
The speaker, the Congressman, amazed us with his clarity, his information, and his ability to respond thoughtfully to pressing questions. I got some great quotes from him for future articles. He surprised and impressed me again and again with his perspectives and with the deep processes by which he had arrived at his positions. He also described a number of programs available through his office which were entirely new to me and might help me or friends.
Driving home, I noticed how blue the sky was and how white and sharply etched the clouds were. My brain was juicy and happy. At home, I wrote all day. Three hours of novelty had opened me up, through parking meter gambits, new friends and associations, and new ideas. I got back much more time than I spent on my little adventure, and the creativity boost was huge.
Do you want to be a more Effective Author? Then take several hours, from time to time, to do something radically different than your usual, and nurture your brain with novelty!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert and author of the award-winning book, Discover the Secret Energized You, as well as the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition. Her newest book, Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine, is available through her office. Just email SacredMeditation@kebba.com for more info. Like this article? Buy Kebba’s books by clicking the links! Reach the writer at email@example.com. For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org.