Your brain is a marvelous organ!

And like the rest of your body, you don’t want to take it for granted. In fact, if you exercise your brain you’ll find that it’s easier to write and to tap into your creative side.

So how do you exercise your brain?

Well there are the common ways. They’re quick, easy, usually fun, and they work. For example, spend some time doing a crossword puzzle or playing word games. If you’re a social person then Words with Friends is fun.

But what about brain exercises beyond basic word games?

The other day I thought I may have broken my hand while at the rock climbing gym. I’m right handed and it was my right hand. It swelled up and hurt tremendously. But I still had work to do, children to pick up and errands to run. Thus, I turned to my always present and frequently underused left hand.

Everything I did for the rest of the day was done with my non-dominant hand. It was a real challenge and extremely slow. But it did exercise my brain. It forced me to think about how I move and use my hands. Try it. Try brushing your teeth, pouring a cup of coffee or writing with your non-dominant hand.

Challenging your senses is another way to strengthen your brain.

Pay attention to what you see, hear, feel and smell. Engage your senses and use them in different ways. Instead of tasting a strawberry, try to hear it or feel it. Instead of listening to music, think about what a song might smell like.

Find different ways to look at the world around you and to experience it.

Yes, word games and puzzles are good ways to strengthen your brain but consider taking it a few steps further. Really challenge your brain to create new associations and connections. You’ll change the way you look at the world and you’ll open up a world of possibilities in your writing.