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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.

Sweet Cure for Writer’s Block

chocolate canstockphoto6773559 (2)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 Valentine’s Day.

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 Valentine’s Day early this year.

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3 Comments on “Sweet Cure for Writer’s Block”

  1. sin todos los fotomurales March 9, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog post or
    vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same topics
    as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you’re interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Great blog by the way!


  2. Joel D Canfield February 4, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    I eat dark chocolate every single night. On the days when I spend more than half an hour shoveling snow (to the tune of 300+ calories burned) I eat a little more.

    Let’s assume it’s fueling my song-a-day so far this month, along with 1,000 words a day on two different books, with plans to start a third 1,000-word-a-day project because it seems the more I write the more I write.

    I think I’ll go have some chocolate.


    • rosannebane February 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      Great endorsement for chocolate Joel! And the power of showing up and putting in your time. Way to go! I’m drinking dark chocolate cocoa as I write this…


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