The Spark of Curiosity

To become better at learning one needs to ask the right questions. Researchers have found that an individual’s curiosity is piqued by simply asking a question.  By becoming curious one is more likely to remember new information.  In the January 2016 edition of writer’s digest, Susan Reynolds of WD Books, explains; Curiosity creates a sort of brain vortex that sucks in whatever you feel most motivated to learn, along with ideas that may be floating around your environment.  The spark of curiosity lights up the hippocampus, where the creation of memories occurs, and the reward and pleasure brain circuits, which release dopamine.  

I saw this in all of my sons as they grew up and in one in particular. No matter what the subject was, from simple weather issues to the meaning of life, he would ask questions.  Usually, I had no idea how to scientifically provide the right answer and instead of winging it, I encouraged him to look it up.  By supporting his extreme levels of curiosity instead of rushing an answer at him for instant gratification (so I could get things done!), that would probably be incorrect anyway, I helped to create in him the spark of curiosity.  This spark is an energy, similar to the adrenaline rush one gets when excited or for me, when I run.  Energy keeps us young and healthy and contributes to happiness and greater self esteem in human beings.

Some of the best stories begin with a question, as I have stated in previous blogs. Whether you, as the author, provide the answer for your reader or not, the spark of curiosity has been lit by the question you raise.  It is up to you as the author to create the fire of “wanting to know” in your audience and to fan it with the right words as you progress through your text, so that the strength of it’s blaze never burns out.

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