Some years ago I was a student teacher at a lovely Montessori school. 

My mentor teacher was a lifelong learner, always taking courses. She came back from one with worrying news. 

She said studies showed the brain is fixed in early childhood. After that, change is practically impossible.

As a prospective teacher, I was alarmed. 

What if my students suffered for the rest of their life because of my mistakes?

I needn’t have worried – for two reasons.

First, because I only did one (beautiful) year of teaching before getting out. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but really I just liked reading stories to kids after ours got too old.

And second, because the brain science was wrong. 

We can rewire our brain at any age.

Which brings me to habit five in my series, Five simple habits to make writing easier so you can be a better, happier and more confident writer. (There’s more about the other habits, including links, further down).

Habit Five: Believe

The four writing habits I’ve told you about so far won’t make any difference if you don’t believe you are capable of better writing.

It only needs to be a smidgen of belief to start, and it can be in ‘future you’ rather than ‘you now’.

If you can’t believe in yourself, believe in your brain. Neuroscience says you can.

I’ve been reading The Source by Dr Tara Swart. She’s an executive coach and a neuroscientist with a background in psychiatry. Her book examines how the way we think shapes our life and how discoveries in neuroscience provide hard evidence.

The main points I’ve picked up: 

  • Our body and brain are linked.
  • Our thoughts, feelings and actions can change our brain (at any age).
  • Everything we do reinforces a pattern or pathway in the brain.
  • Change happens through focusing on what we want, visualising it intently and directing action towards it.

The Source backs up what I’ve been saying about being a better writer. 

Five habits to change your (writing) brain

The first four habits are a way to take consistent action to reinforce a new pathway in the brain.

Habit five, Believe, is about believing in your potential to be a better writer – faster, more prolific, more confident. 

Believe is the final habit and the one that will sustain you through self-doubt, impatience and setbacks.

Believing can be supported through whatever works for you: affirmations, visualisations, action boards (more on those next week) or just a dogged sense of what you want. 

Neuroscience can give you all the reasons why you can believe in your voice.

I’ll never get tired of telling you that it matters. 

Five Simple Writing Habits.

These writing habits help with focus, overwhelm and distraction. They are the habits I lean on to be more prolific, more confident and altogether happier with my writing.

I’ve written about each of the habits in a short series of blog posts. 

I’ve also created a free one-page reminder for you to download and print.

Here’s to happier writing and content creation. Your voice matters.

Feel free to get in touch to talk about how I can help you. Email me,

Photo by Ran Berkovich on Unsplash

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