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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Chocolate Cures Writer’s Block!

Feeling stuck? Avoiding your writing because you feel uninspired? You’re in luck! You have a reason to eat dark chocolate – and just in time for Halloween.

Chocolate may be the most flavorful cure for writer’s resistance ever. Dark chocolate is a source of flavanols, which have been shown to improve both your coronary and cognitive ability. “In other words,” writes Katie Waldeck “chocolate has the ability to boost your thinking, your memory and your ability to perceive and understand ideas.”

Red wine, green tea and some berries are also sources of flavanols, but a new study suggests that dark chocolate may have a special advantage when it comes to boosting brain power. Dr. Franz H. Messerli published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that shows a statistically significant correlation between a country’s per capita consumption of dark chocolate and its number of Nobel laureates per capita. For example, Switzerland leads the world in both eating chocolate and producing Nobel Prize winners.

It’s too late to add eating dark chocolate as the sixth form of Self-care in Around the Writer’s Block, but I can add it for my coaching clients and students. Let’s try our own informal study of the effect of dark chocolate on resistance in the Discover Your Way Around the Writer’s Block class. Now there’s an incentive to take a class – I’ll provide the chocolate!

Keep in mind, though, that the medical sources remind us that we need to adjust our overall diet and exercise to account for the fat and sugar that comes with chocolate. So keep giving your brain and the rest of your body the benefits of regular, enjoyable exercise.

And while chocolate might make you less cranky after a poor night’s sleep, it can’t make up the cognitive and creative loss caused by sleep deprivation. Chocolate can supplement, but not replace, the other forms of self-care.

Remember, milk chocolate doesn’t contain flavanols, so hold out for the good stuff! Feel free to start celebrating renewed creativity and Halloween early this year.

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6 Comments on “Chocolate Cures Writer’s Block!”

  1. Charity October 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    The blessing–or curse–of working across the street from Macy’s. I just ran over and splurged on some Godiva 85% dark chocolate. That’s some stout stuff! Consuming in moderation is probably they only way you can eat it.

    Thanks for posting one more reason to eat chocolate!


    • rosannebane October 23, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      You’re welcome Charity! Did the chocolate improve your creativity?


  2. Joel D Canfield October 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    Amen to that.

    Chocolate grows on trees, right? That makes it a vegetable. Or a fruit. Or something else nutritious.

    Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk, so it’s better. And it has other health benefits I knew about, but now I’ll ponder my increased creativity when Best Beloved and I share a few squares in the evening.


    • rosannebane October 22, 2012 at 9:42 am #

      I’ve read that chocolate enhances feelings of love, so how wonderful that you share it with your Best Beloved!
      You got me wondering about whether chocolate is a fruit or vegetable, so I checked. The cocoa bean that we use to make chocolate is the seed of the cocoa pod, which is a fruit. So just the cocoa bean is probably very nutritious. It’s the sugar and fat we add to the seed to make chocolate that we need to consciously moderate.


      • Joel D Canfield October 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

        Seeds are good! I try to stay away from sugar, but since I ain’t staying away from chocolate, I have to practice moderation.

        Food always finds its way into my books, even my business books. I hadn’t really thought that deeply about cacao but maybe now I can use this somewhere.


        • rosannebane October 22, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

          I’m glad to see that my blog is feeding your writing in multiple ways!


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