It happens. Your inspiration doesn’t want to work for you anymore. This time scientists decided to perform an inspiration autopsy to determine the cause of its misbehavior.
We used to think that our inspiration is a miracle that occurs at the most magical moments of our life. However, the scientists claim that the muse is not a mythical woman in a see-through dress that usually comes at night. Instead, it’s just a chemical reaction with a set of hormones in your brain.
“The muse, in other words, is merely a matter of making the right brain connections.”
What hormones and chemicals are responsible for this exalted state of mind? And can this state be triggered by any other means?
The study shows that when we realize that we need/should/must write something, the brain perceives it as a signal of danger and makes your body release stress hormones.
That triggers so called fight-or-flight response that has been formed for millions of years by human evolution. This mechanism developed to enable us to run as fast as we can from a saber tooth tiger (or a grizzly bear in The Revenant).
Imagine that you are walking in a forest, minding your own business, and all of a sudden you spot a giant bear. What do you feel? Want to write something on your blog?
“The unstoppable drive to write (or produce in other media), called hypergraphia, can be triggered by temporal lobe epilepsy, mania, and other mood disorders. Dostoevsky and van Gogh are examples. The late Norman Geschwind, a Harvard expert on hypergraphia, referred to such talents as a valuable result from a brain defect.”
That’s why ways of fighting depression and anxiety are very similar to ways of dealing with writer’s block. Walking, meditation, workout, and listening to music are not only my typical daily schedule but also effective methods for overcoming writer’s block.