If You Want Fireworks, Choose a Topic That Excites You

If every time you plan to write, you experience resistance or just can’t seem to get your brain fired up once you do start, it may be that you don’t like what you’re writing about, whether it’s the characters, the situation, or the story.

As we’ve discussed, your neurons (brain cells) construct elaborate networks in response to frequent cognitive activity, such as writing, and, within that network, writing about a specific topic. The more these specific neuronal networks are fired up, the more they wire together, formulating a complex, multilayered web of synapses that grow stronger and more complex with use. It’s the practice of firing up those neurons that causes them to increase their outreach and to create new and more unique connections—creating opportunities for major, exciting breakthroughs and creating the sort of neuronal “electricity” (when the synapses connect, it is very much like electricity) that leads to productive writing sessions.

The good news is that you have writing genius at your disposal and you can tap into it by choosing a topic that really gets your juices flowing, something that has a certain urgency, something you’re somewhat obsessed with, something that’s deeply important to you. In doing so, every time you research, think about, or write about that topic, you are firing up the neuronal network that will make it far easier—and more exciting—to write.

If you can’t love the topic (which often happens), love what you do, and help your brain feel excited about the process. At the very least, you can complete that project and move on to something that does fire up your writing brain. And if that doesn’t do the trick, at least choose a topic that grips you like a vise.

Happy Writing!


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