What Happens in My Brain When I’m Writing (And a Turning Point in My Life I Haven’t Shared Before)

What Happens in My Brain When I'm Writing (And a Turning Point in My Life I Haven’t Shared Before) letsreachsuccess.com lidiya k

Writing is a magical process. And while it might not be your thing, knowing what goes on in the brain when doing what you love, might help you figure out what your most favorite activity in the world is and dedicate more time to it.

I remember the days when I wasn’t writing.

Ouch! Wouldn’t wanna go back to that version of myself. Although, of course, for a personal growth lover like me, there’s no better motivator than constantly seeing how far I’ve come, and keeping in mind what it was in the beginning.

For that to be true, it’s important that I started from nothing and was someone I wasn’t happy with.

How Being Dissatisfied with Everything Can Be a Turning Point in Your Life

See, dissatisfaction is actually good.

Some live in an illusion, yes. They deny the elements of their life that they hate, although they see them daily. That leads to nothing good.

But when you admit these, when you’re honest with yourself about every single quality you don’t like about yourself, every part of your life, the people around you and the thoughts in your head you’d like to change, then there’s a high chance you’ll get to the point where you just won’t take it anymore.

And that, my friends, is one of the most important moments of your life.

Because that’s when you say ‘no’ to putting up with all the BS, finally decide what you want, sit down to think where to start if you wanna change it, and (if you’re lucky enough) get up still excited about it the next morning and actually take action upon this.

That’s how change happens. It always starts on the inside. In cases like this, it has potential to give you a completely different life some time from now and that can last for as long as you’re willing to be going in the right direction and never settle down for less.

Why am I telling you this?

Because that’s what happened in my head a few years ago, when I started making drastic changes in my life.

Cutting people, investing time every single day to work on my digital projects without knowing if it would lead to any success (not to mention money) or not, reading and creating a vision of this so-called lifestyle design and being fascinated by those already living it with such ease.

That was also the moment when I started writing, for real.

Why and How Writing and Personal Development Became My Thing

becoming a writer

Around 2 years ago, when I was already making money online, accepting the fact I’m a writer of some kind, still not sharing my goals with others but knowing where I wanna be some time from now, I also realized something crucial.

Things started happening even before this realization. Because things always happen when you put in effort, focus and time day after day in one thing, and that’s what I was doing.

But it wasn’t until I opened Gary Vee’s book, Crush It (a bit outdated as it was about the first days of the Internet, but the solid principles inside it will apply forever), that I realized I had a wrong idea of what my passion was.

I write a lot about figuring out what your passion is. I (like Mark Manson), often say it’s already in front of your eyes, in your daily activities, in the things you want to be doing all the time, in what engages your mind and what you can talk about for hours.

But the denial is strong and most people prefer to make excuses for why they can’t start online businesses, do the same old things they’ve always been doing, and – in a nutshell – live the ordinary life that makes them stuck in a rut.

On the other side of this, however, is the freedom. And that’s been my goal since I can remember. I just couldn’t define it clearly.

So, back to Gary’s book.

See, before reading it, I thought my passion was writing. I’ve always shown signs in my childhood that I had a passion for this, it was a skill I could build naturally and with ease, and it felt really good when I was doing it.

But this book helped me understand something really important (as I believe we should always seek the why behind our actions if we want to have full control over our mind and life).

Writing was just my most favorite way to express myself and my true calling. But the thing that excited me the most from all the other topics in the world, was what I was reading, writing and thinking about. And that’s self-improvement.

It’s about constantly becoming a better version of ourselves, admitting our potential and deciding to work hard to get it out, aiming higher and giving each dream time to be turned into reality, hacking our health, productivity, relationships, mind, etc. All this, and so much more, is the art of growing personally and spiritually. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with it.

The 950 articles and 70 podcast episodes here on Let’s Reach Success might be an indicator that I won’t really get bored with it any time soon.

So, the best way to ensure a life of passion and excitement, is not just to find what you love doing, but to also find the best way to do it and share it with the world.

For The Love of Writing

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When I write, nothing else really matters. Things are perfect. I don’t wanna be in a rush, think about editing, do something else, worry about tomorrow, or be sad about the past.

It’s a therapy, a flow, a blessing.

I think the human mind thrives in such mental states. And I believe we can all reach one like that, and turn it into a daily practice. Then our levels of satisfaction in life will raise dramatically.

In the beginning – as writing is a skill, after all – I had my doubts. I wasn’t confident in my words, was afraid others will judge if they read all that, wasn’t sure what was the whole purpose of me doing it, was thinking about editing while writing (huge mistake!), and so on.

How to fix that?

Practice.

Simple as that.

Now, inspiration is an attitude towards life for me. I can be in the noisiest place possible, but just shut my brain and start typing hundreds of words in a couple of minutes. It’s natural, it’s effortless. It’s exactly how it should be.

Of course, that skill also made it easier to live the lifestyle I’m aiming at now – to work while traveling (not easy), to get work done at home when I don’t feel like it, to come up with new ideas whenever I need to, and so on.

If you have love for the craft, all these go together with it.

Your thing will be different. But please, don’t stop till you find it and can describe your work process with words similar to the ones I just used.

Why Anyone Should Be Writing

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Now, to the point of this post.

I’ve talked about the benefits of journaling, the beauty of writing in the early morning and how that can change you and your life, and why everyone should start a blog today.

But there’s more behind it.

Here are some cool examples:

In a research, volunteers were asked to write a story. While planning the plot, the vision-processing part of the brain was activated and they were literally seeing the scenes they were going to write.

Another research on the neuroscience of creative writing states that a novelist writing things down in a notebook and ‘an NBA player doing a reverse layup on a basketball court before a screaming crowd’ have more in common than we realize.

‘The inner workings of the professionally trained writers in the bunch, the scientists argue, showed some similarities to people who are skilled at other complex actions, like music or sports.’

In one of his latest articles titled Life is a Video Game – Here Are The Cheat Codes, one of my most favorite bloggers and online personalities ever, Mark Manson, shows why life is like a video game, what prevents us from leveling up, and gives 5 cheat codes that can help us navigate through the different stages of life and reach each next level successfully.

Cheat #2 is called ‘Write This Shit Down’ (yes, he uses that word often).

In it, he talks about the tendency of many people to be lying to themselves. But there’s also this one special talent humans are born with – the ability to observe our thoughts. And here’s how he encourages us to use it:

‘you need to get your thoughts out in front of you and pretend that they aren’t yours. Only then can you hear how utterly ridiculous they sound.

One common way to do this is to write down your thoughts regularly.

This can be a journal, a blog (how do you think all this stuff started, anyway?), or even letters/emails to friends and family.

The important part is that you are actively digging into the problems in your life and looking at your behavior from a third-person perspective.

Therapy also works in this regard. You go sit on a couch and say a bunch of things to this person who sits there and pretends to care. Then that person says your thoughts back to you, just in a different way. And then you’re like, “Oh wait, that sounds completely irrational. Thanks, Doc.” And then you get screwed over because your health insurance doesn’t cover it.

So, if you’re like the rest of the people in the US and are uninsured, you can accomplish almost as much by simply developing a habit of writing shit down.’

James Clear, another super smart entrepreneur and writer with a blog covering so much on building habits and developing discipline using the power of your mind and enough researches to back it up, shares this:

‘Assuming that you are willing to do the hard work of facing your inner fears and working through failure, here are a few practical strategies for becoming more creative.

Write more.

For nearly three years, I published a new article every Monday and every Thursday at JamesClear.com. The longer I stuck with this schedule, the more I realized that I had to write about a dozen average ideas before I uncovered a brilliant one. By producing a volume of work, I created a larger surface area for a creative spark to hit me.’

These are the aspects of writing not everyone considers. But I do believe this can open your eyes for the real you, your real desires and fears, and also to help you find a way to deal with every single issue you’ve had over the years.

How?

It’s still inexplicable to me. And I don’t need an explanation. Yes, science and what happens in the brain during the writing session play a big role in this. But the results are undeniable.

When I went back to think of what was going on in my head while writing back in the days, I do remember the emotions clearly. Because I’m in the zone every time I do it, I come to deep realizations about my life, I internalize new things by putting them down on paper, I take decisions when writing down the options and other factors related to it, I am more focused than ever before and I remember every detail about this.

It’s like the real me is speaking. And it knows best.

We all need to reach out on the inside to find what we really want in life, answers to all questions, and the next steps to achieving the goals. And writing can help you dig deeper into your subconscious and get all the information you need.

The truth is there and writing can help you get to it.

Over to you now. How do you feel about writing?

If you’re a writer, describe your writing ritual and what goes on in your brain when doing it?

If you’re not, how do you feel when you’re jotting down things? Would you experiment with journaling for some time?

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income