12 TipsThat Help Writers Enhance Memory

Today’s post is by Antonio Tooley.

Think about the most annoying situations you have faced throughout your writing journey. It’s not the hard work and diligent editing. It’s the writer’s block. The moment when your mind goes blank and you are stuck for days without writing a single paragraph. It’s even worse when you know you had that brilliant idea, but it somehow evaporated before you got to your laptop.

Why do writers have a problem with memory? Creativity may be the biggest reason. You have too many ideas, so it’s hard to recall the exact scenario you had on your mind when you thought of at least five other variations after that perfect one. That’s why it’s important for you to enhance your memory by using different techniques.

Lifestyle Tips

1. Get Enough Sleep 

It’s no secret that sleep deprivation affects the way you feel and think. Your body and mind need good sleep to rest and recharge. If you deprive yourself from the much-needed sleep, you will be less focused throughout the day, and the ideas won’t stick with you long enough. Acquisition and recall of an idea occur when you’re awake. However, researchers show that sleep is necessary for the memory to become stable in your mind.

2. Be Active!

Physical activity boosts the functions of your brain. Have you ever wondered why those Instagram yogis post images of inverted poses? They are probably doing that because the positions look challenging, but that’s not the reason they are a part of yoga. Your brain needs a good flow of blood in order to function properly. Proper physical activity improves your focus and memory capacity.

3. Eat Foods That Stimulate Your Brain Power

The foods you eat affect the way you feel, but they also play a role in your brains functions. Fish, olive oil, avocado, green leafy vegetables, peanuts, whole grains, and fruit—all these foods will help enhance your memory.

Start your day with a smoothie and continue eating healthy throughout the day. If you follow this routine for a few days, you’ll suddenly notice how your mind gets sharper and you remember more of your ideas.

Techniques that Help You Remember Names

There are too many characters in your plot? Sometimes you forget who did what, because the names become confused? This is what you need to do:

4. Repeat a Name Several Times in a Conversation

Have an imaginary dialogue in your head. Think about your character’s characteristics and develop a conversation where you repeat his/her name several times. That will help you relate the name to the specific character.

5. Make Associations and Connections

Mike is Robin’s cousin, Robin is Michelle’s friend, Mike is in love with Michelle, but she likes Arthur, who is Mike’s neighbor? Oh, that’s complicated. It’s hard to remember all these names and characters when you’re in the early stages of plot development. You need to make specific associations before you get deeper into the story.

6. Focus on Remembering Names in Real Life

You may notice that leaders and socialites often use people’s names when addressing them. That’s because your brain activates when you hear your own name, and you’re ready to absorb the information better. When you become a better communicator, you’ll also improve your approach to writing dialogue.

Repeat people’s names when you meet them. Show you care by addressing everyone by name. If you forget someone’s name, it might indicate that you weren’t interested enough on the first encounter to remember.

Remember What You’re Reading

Most people don’t care too much about remembering all characters from Dostoevsky’s Demons, for example, but a writer knows that every single detail is important for the final impression. Proper reading will help you enhance your overall memory, so here are three techniques that can help:

7. Form and Remember Your Impressions

Writers tend to pay attention to the technicalities of another author’s work. You need to forget about the form and length of sentences, paragraphs, and chapters when you are reading a book. Just think about the feelings and impressions the scenes evoke.

8.Make an Association

How is the book you’re reading connected to real-life events? Have you experienced something similar? Think about the associations you can make.

9. Repeat

Complex books are hard to remember in detail. For example, The Glass Bead Game takes multiple readings if you want to get into its deepest layers. If you read a book twice, the details will stick better in your memory.

Mnemonic Devices That Support Your Memory Functions

I’m not talking about actual devices. A mnemonic device is a brief sentence that helps you remember a particular idea or a string of words.

10. Memory Palace Technique

This is an ancient method that uses visualization for memory enhancement. First, you need to memorize a particular place. Pick space you’re familiar with and try to visualize all its details, as well as the road that leads to it. Then, associate different features (the mirror, door, pictures on the walls) with specific things you want to remember.

11. Name Mnemonics

For this technique, you use the first letter of each word in your idea to make up a name. For example, you get an idea to make a character’s brother appear from the dead. The name mnemonic of this idea would be Mr. BAF D.

12. Image Mnemonics

For this technique, you need to draw a picture that helps you recall the idea. If you simply write down the idea, you might miss the feelings and impressions you had when you first thought of it. The picture will grasp that aspect. Just draw a silly picture and don’t worry about your artistic skills.

Okay, now it’s time to get to work. Use the above-listed tips for memory enhancement, and you’ll soon notice a great difference in your writing.

Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s writing for Edugeeksclub. He will be happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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  1. Your column today is timely. It is my wake up call shake the cobwebs and excuses out of my mind and get back to work. After two eye surgeries, for the first-timeall year I have no patches covering ether eye.

    My inactivity is the only thing stopping my creativity from flowing. Your LIVEWRITRTETHRIVE column today has given ideas and answers that have removed several hurttles. It is a great 7th birthday present.

    Have a great week.

    Thank b you.

  2. because my story (series) involves several generations, i created the Lineage of the Unsavory Heritage. not a full family tree, it traces the generations touched by said unsavory heritage (which is the name of the series)

  3. Great post!

    For one of my novels, involving multiple interconnected relationships, I went so far as to draw a diagram of those relationships just to keep things straight in my head. It helped a lot, especially at the climax at the end where one of the characters lists the different relationships and shows how they connect to the main plot

    One of the other problems I find sometimes in reading novels is that if characters names are too similar then I get them mixed up. In my own novels I try to at least have each character’s name begin with a different initial letter. That helps me remember who each character is.

    1. Hi, Sean!

      Glad you liked the post!

      Yes, diagrams do amazing job when it comes to relationships.

      I wish I had built a diagram myself when I was reading “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Marquez 🙂

  4. I never considered using an imagery dialogue. That seems like a helpful way of categorizing events. I’ll have to consider getting a memory class to stay sharp.

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