"Science Mind" Your Writing Adventure
No. 143 | By Christine Carron
On all the group coaching sessions in Goodjelly’s programs, at the end, I invite writers to identify a “favorite frame” or a “gem” from the call. Recently, one of the the writer’s gems had to do with her ongoing surprise at how effective and freeing Goodjelly’s tools were even though they “are more scientific and mathematical,” which would seem, she said, “diametrically opposed to creative flow.”
In the moment, I could not help but let out a delighted laugh, sharing with the group that never in my life had anyone referred to anything I had done as scientific or mathematical. Process oriented for sure, which is definitely more energetically left-brained, but mathematical? Scientific? Those were new ones for me.
In retrospect, I was selling myself (and Goodjelly’s tools) a bit short. As it turned out, that writer had given me a lovely gift, revealing blindspots I had about the process I created. For not a week later, I was rerecording some of the lessons with my spiffy new microphone, and in the speaking points for one I had written about being more scientific in approaching blocks, and in another I referred to the mathematical concept of iteration.
To add to the humorous expansion of awareness, what book had I just started reading? The Joy of Science by Jim Al-Khalili. Got to love a wink from the Universe.
A Scientific Approach Increases Creative Flow
So, yes, I am owning it. Goodjelly’s writing productivity processes are science- and math imbued. And that writer was absolutely right: those qualities do totally unleash creative flow. I usually call the kind of thinking shift that happens to writers in my program an integration of process thinking. But today, we’re going to call it channeling your “science mind,” so that you, too, can revel in the power of adding a little scientific know-how on the writing adventure.
Al-Khalili concludes his (delightful) book, by posing the question, “What is the true value to humanity of thinking scientifically?” He provides four answers, and I will use those answers to explore the value of applying a “science mind” to your creative process.
Answer #1: Thinking scientifically gives us clarity about how the world works.
Al-Khalili writes, “. . . the scientific method [creates] a reliable way of learning how the world works, a way that takes into account are human foibles and builds in correctives.”
In this same way, Goodjelly’s tools are all designed to help you better understand how you work best as a writer. Too often writers get so caught up in how they believe writers “should” get their writing done that they force themselves to use strategies and tactics that don’t serve the writer who they actually are. If you want to be more productive as a writer, you have to work with yourself and not against yourself.
In addition, power and kindness are woven into all of Goodjelly’s tools. Those qualities also help us meet ourselves where we are as writers—with all our human foibles—and to course correct in a way that is compassionate and actually effective.
Answer #2: We recognize where we would be without science.
Al-Khalili writes, “We should not forget that science is more than a pursuit of knowledge. It is a means by which we can both survive and live more contented lives.”
This is Goodjelly energy through and through. I launched Goodjelly based on the premise that the writing adventure doesn’t have to be so hard. When writers are empowered with the tools of productivity, a multitude of work and mindset issues subside, and their writing adventures become more delightful, i.e., more satisfying.
It usually takes about a week into Goodjelly’s programs for writers to be gobsmacked at how much the tools are helping them make progress. And I mean, full-on shocked gobsmacked. It is always a big celebration when that moment comes.
Answer #3: The traits and characteristics of thinking scientifically benefit us on a daily basis.
Al-Khalili writes, “The way we do science—all the traits and practices of science, such as being curious about the world, thinking rationally and logically, debating, discussing and comparing ideas, valuing uncertainty and questioning what we know or think we know, acknowledging our biases, demanding reliable evidence, learning what and whom to trust—all these can benefit us in our everyday lives.
Goodjelly’s tools invite reflection, exploration, and experimentation. They acknowledge that we will change and grow as writers, and the way we get our work done must change and grow as well. They help us release beliefs, habits, and practices that no longer serve us, and instead help us integrate new ways of getting our work done that benefit our writing lives and the realization of our writing dreams.
Answer #4: Thinking scientifically enriches our lives.
Al-Khalili writes, “The true beauty of science is that it enriches us. . . . [It is a] remarkable way of seeing, thinking, knowing, and living.”
All Goodjelly’s tools are designed to help writers take charge of their writing adventure. To have more agency over their process. That is a beautiful thing. Stress, frustration, and despair recede. Progress, confidence, and delight abound.
Sondra Soderborg, an author and one of the first writers to learn Goodjelly’s Jam process, recently shared on social media that Goodjelly’s tools allowed her “to confidently walk away from drafting and not second guess the choice” this summer, so she could be present for the launch of her debut novel Sky Ropes and for her daughter’s wedding. Sondra continued that she was able to show up, “with my whole heart at these wonderful events. I didn’t miss things because my brain was churning on the work I wasn’t doing. It was great.”
Now she is officially back to drafting, renewed and reinvigorated. Most definitely, a beautiful and empowered writing life.
A "Science Mind" Empowers Your Writing Adventure
Absolutely the Jam tools bring a “science mind” to a writer’s creative process. It delights me to have this new way to describe what Goodjelly is all about, which, yes, on the surface is about writing productivity, but it goes deeper than that.
Like Al-Khalili’s assertions that the scientific method empowers clarity, progress, process, and beauty in our everyday lives, applying a “science mind” to our creative process helps us not just survive the writing adventure, but thrive on it.
Now that’s some Goodjelly!