Sudoku is my new secret weapon

April 4, 2011

Whenever I take one of those “Are You Left Brain or Right Brain?” tests, I always score in the middle. While there may be some reason to doubt the general accuracy of Internet tests taken in the wee hours of the morning, I rather agree with this particular finding. I do feel like I equally rely on both the logical left and the intuituve right side of my brain (I know, I know, that is a gross oversimplification, but bear with me here).

Usually, combining a methodical, systematic approach with the occasional intuitive flash of insight works out well, particularly when I’m writing.

However, it doesn’t always work this way. Sometimes it’s more like this:

Luckily, I have discovered a secret weapon which distracts my upper levels of thought long enough to let the Muse/Right Brain/Whatever sneak a few ideas in.


I love the concept of Sodoku. Every row, column, and square contains all the numbers from 1-9… and when you complete the puzzle, it’s a perfect, unified whole that cannot be any other way. There is one and only one place for each number, and it is immensely satisfying to put them in their correct positions.

Most of all, it’s pure logic. For some reason, when I’m focusing on a Sudoku, I’m not focusing on chores that need to be done, people I need to call back, and work I need to do. I’m slightly zoned-out. And it’s this balance between having something mentally stimulating, and simultaneously not really thinking about anything, that gives that little intuitive voice a chance to speak. I find a comfy spot, turn on some appropriate music, grab a pencil… and get ready to learn more about whatever writing I happen to be doing.




  1. FUN post. I love Sudoku. 😀

  2. I’ve always used music for the same purpose (music, Muses, get it?). I pick some style or album that fits what I’m writing and play it loud. Of course, invariably, a cat will jump in my lap, and then I’ve lost the thread for a while. . .

  3. Arvik, if your novels are half so enjoyable as your blog posts you can’t help but make it.

    — david j.

    • Aww… you made me blush. 😀
      Thank you, and best of luck to you as well!

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