Now, I know what you’re thinking. Food? Drinks? Those won’t help my writing. Teach me about world building and commas. We do and we will continue to. Today, though, I think we ought to explore how food and drink can affect your writing.
For successful writers, there are three main components you need to really write: productivity, creativity, and inspiration. Without any one of these three, you’ll find writing difficult, but when they come together, you will find your writing will be better and maybe even a bit easier.
Productivity is the thing that keeps us going. It’s what helps us put our fingers to the keyboard or pen to paper and actually write. Without it, no books would be finished, and you surely would not be reading this blog post.
Here are a few proven foods and drinks that boost productivity:
For my book, coffee is my favorite productivity hack. At this point, I think I’ve managed to classically condition my mind to believe that coffee and writing go together. But besides that, there are serious scientific facts about coffee increasing productivity.
Science lesson: what caffeine actually does is bind itself to the receptors in our brain that normally bind with adenosine, the chemical that makes us tired.
In layman’s terms, coffee helps get rid of that strange daze we find ourselves lost in and allows our brain to think clearer in order to get words down on the page.
Also, there are studies that prove just the smell of coffee can wake you up.
For those of you who don’t drink coffee, tea has similar effects. While coffee generally has a higher caffeine content, tea can be just as effective.
The benefit of tea over coffee is that tea can keep you going longer than coffee. Coffee can give you a high rush but is accompanied by a fast drop after the effects wear off.
Tea can keep you writing all day long. So tea drinkers, drink on.
Blueberries are a superfood. They increase productivity and do all sorts of other good things.
Science lesson number two: blueberries are full of antioxidants, which help keep oxygen and blood flowing to your brain, making your brain more active.
A more active brain can write better. Engage your brain; eat blueberries.
Also, blueberries are a natural mood stabilizer. Most of us writers need that occasionally. 🙂
This seems obvious, but most of us need to be reminded of this. One of the biggest reasons we get tired in the middle of the day is from dehydration. Being productive while tired is almost impossible.
Drinking water has been linked to focus and clarity, the main components of productivity. If we want to get our books written, pick up a glass of water.
If we want to get our books written even faster, one study notes that drinking one glass of water could make your brain function 14 percent faster!
What would our writing be without creativity? Probably awful and boring.
You know those moments when you don’t know what to write next and all your ideas are kind of . . . bad? (Admit it, it happens.) Those are the moments to try one (or all) of the following:
5. Dark Chocolate
I will give you an excuse to eat dark chocolate any day, but there is evidence that links chocolate to creativity.
Chocolate is the perfect mix of caffeine and nutrients to give you a creative spark. The caffeine wakes the brain up to start thinking, while the nutrients in the chocolate actually dilate blood vessels to help you think outside of the box.
Also, dark chocolate is full of serotonin and endorphins (the chemicals that make you happy). So if you want to think creatively and maybe boost your mood, go for the chocolate.
6. Ice Cream
I’m sitting in bed eating ice cream right now. I’m going to be real with you, there is not so much scientific fact backing up ice cream and creativity. BUT ice cream has been proven to have a positive effect on your brain.
Psychology Today has this to say about ice cream: “[T]he brain’s responses to sadness were significantly reduced when the fatty solution was infused into the stomach. Respondents also reported less hunger and a better mood when the fatty solution was given.”
So if you’re in a creative rut and feeling discouraged, ice cream is the way to go. Science said. (You’re welcome.)
When the alcohol from the beer hits your brain, it causes you to be less focused, normally a negative. But when you are looking to come up with an idea, the effects of the beer will have you less worried about the world around you and able to think deeper and come up with better ideas.
Teams have run experiments to test whether people who drink beer create better ideas, and the data show that alcohol-drinkers create more and even better ideas.
*Remember: everything in moderation. In drinking too much, you lose the benefits.*
But if you’re stuck and out of ideas for your story, try cheers-ing.
Inspiration is vital to the success of your writing. Inspiration will keep you going when you no longer feel like writing and help you develop new ideas along the way.
8. Your Guilty Pleasure
The number one food or drink that boosts inspiration? Your guilty pleasure.
For me, this is almost always ice cream, but depending on the day, it might also be a really greasy cheeseburger from the store down the street.
Inspiration comes from something you love and believe in.
When you reward yourself every once in a while you will feel more inspired to believe in yourself to write great stories.
Writers Need Fuel
As writers and artists, we can fall victim to the Starving Artist Syndrome, sacrificing things like food and drink to focus on our art. But the truth is, writers need fuel.
Our art, stories, and writing can largely benefit from eating and drinking things that are already proven to help us work better. So why not try them?
What food or drink helps you write? Let us know in the comments below.
Brainstorm where you are in your project. Do you need more productivity, creativity, or inspiration?
Once you identify which one you need, remember a time when you had one of the corresponding foods or drinks.
Remember to leave feedback on your fellow writers’ pieces!