Must-have writer's aids...

Yes, essential to the writing environment are:

  • a working computer with appropriate software
  • a supportive chair
  • warmth
  • light
  • peace

But the most important adjunct is CHOCOLATE.

So what does chocolate do for the writer?

1. Flavonoids
Chocolate is chock-full(!) of flavonoids—naturally-occurring compounds found in the cacao plant, as well as in red wine, tea, fruits, and vegetables. Flavonoids may have potentially beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. They may also act as antioxidants, which are believed to prevent or delay certain damage to the body’s cells and tissues.

2. Good cholesterol
Chocolate and cocoa butter contain two main saturated fats (palmitic and stearic acids) and one mono-unsaturated fat (oleic acid). Unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid is a neutral fat and does not appear to raise bad cholesterol (LDL). Oleic acid is the same type of fat in olive oil and may actually raise good cholesterol levels (HDL).

3. Vitamins and minerals
Chocolate contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E. Cocoa is also the highest natural source for Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS).

4. The feel good factor
Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mild mood elevator. It’s the same chemical that our brain produces when we feel happy or in love. Chocolate stimulates the secretion of endorphins, producing a pleasurable sensation similar to the “runner’s high” a jogger feels after running several miles.The mild rush we get from this substance may be why some people say they’re addicted to chocolate
(No comment from author!).


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers, INCEPTIO, and PERFIDITAS. Third in series, SUCCESSIO, is out early summer 2014.

5 comments to Must-have writer’s aids…

  • Jen

    Sounds like wishful thinking to me! But I’m willing to test the theory!

  • Alison, it is great to see such sound scientific and medical reasons to support my addiction. Thank you!

  • Hi Alison, now I can have guilt-free writing knowing I am eating healthily as I go (lol)

  • Oh, no, this wasn’t the best time to check this post! So the gist is diet and writing are incompatible. That’s where I’m going wrong! You’ve given me the perfect excuse to be fat. Thanks.

  • Anne Booth

    What a lovely blog posting, and one which should be taken very seriously indeed. I feel more than ever that respect for science is ESSENTIAL for a writer. Putting aside any personal preference for rice cakes and a purely raw vegetable diet I realise that I have a moral and ethical duty to stock up on the flavonoids, good cholesterol, minerals and vitamins so wonderfully available. Thank you.