Warning: Sensory Overload!

wpid-wp-1440932508703.jpgI was recently having a conversation with a good friend and fellow author, Molly, about her Pinterest board that she uses for inspiration when writing, and it hit me. As human beings, we rely on our five senses to make it through life (unless your Bruce Willis). In fact, we rely on them so much that when one of them weakens or is missing completely, our other senses increase to compensate for it. This explains why my deaf dog has such a good sense of smell that he can smell my wife coming home before she even puts her car in park. Frequently pulling himself out of a deep sleep to go sit in front of the door five minutes before she walks in.


So, how can we as authors use this to our advantage. Well, I think that many of us already do in some aspect or another (listening to music or doing like Molly and having a Pinterest board), but what if we tried to use all, or most of, our senses at once when writing. Could that help to inspire us and make us better writers? So I thought, why not be the guinea pig…FOR SCIENCE!


The Experiment:

For the next thirty days, I am going to completely control my writing environment so that I have maximum engagement of my five senses to see if it increases my word count naturally. Now, I want to have the disclaimer that I don’t know if prior research has been done on this so I don’t have literature to quote, I also am aware that this is not a completely legitimate experiment, but my wife being a chemist helped me to get some of the details straight.

The Control sample: Well…we have years of word count averages that show what my usual word count is when I just “do what I want”….which usually means hang out on YouTube and avoid writing…

The Variables:

  • Sight: I have created a Pinterest board of images that remind me of Gabrielle and her journey. This is the only thing I will be allowed to look at, when I need a break from writing. Goodbye Internets! I will miss you…till we meet again!
  • Smell: I have chosen a specific incense smell that is natural and earthy.
  • Taste: I will be drinking either a cup of tea or a cup of coffee (I haven’t decided yet) while writing. As camomile is Gabrielle’s favorite tea, I feel that this will bring me closer to her, thus more able to write her story.
  • Hearing: I have my writing play list that I have discussed on here before. It is full of songs that elicit specific emotions in me and help me get into the mood to write certain scenes.
  • Touch: I have a wood carved box filled with copper that I like to play with when writing. I will keep this with me and touch it when I have the need to fidget.

To Avoid Bias: 

To avoid biases, I will be turning off the function on my computer that displays my word count. I want to write for as long as I am inspired and see if the invoking of my five senses naturally increases my word count.

As with any experiment, we need a hypothesis. My hypothesis is that engaging my five senses will help greatly increase my word count and thus my productivity. My hope is that this little research experiment will not only help with my ADHD, but help other authors that struggle with getting their word count in. Stay tuned because I will be reporting my findings after a month of doing this every day.

Wish me luck! 



4 thoughts on “Warning: Sensory Overload!

  1. Heh, sounds like a neat idea.
    Just one warning: you *are* aware, are you not, that chamomile tea is calming and soothing, i.e. potentially sleep-inducing? If you’re used to caffeine injections while you write, chamomile tea might be counterproductive. Just sayin’.
    Good luck with the experiment!

    Liked by 1 person

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