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This is not a commentary on the homophobic nature of certain political parties and religious groups. Homeostasis is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition of properties such as temperature or pH.

Sentences:

Our blood sugars are controlled by the homeostatic mechanisms insulin and glucagon.
Our blood sugar homeostasis is controlled by negative feedback which triggers insulin and glucagon release.
Insulin and glucagon homeostatically control blood sugars.

Think of homeostasis as a boat lock between two lakes. There are gates at either end. One can let water in, and the other can let water out. If we want more water to come in, we open the gate to the high lake. If we want to let water out, we open the gate to the low lake. Sounds simple enough.

In a boat lock we are allowing passage of a vessel by controlling levels of water.  In our bodies we maintain a level of something to maintain health. Other facets of life also exhibit homeostatic tendencies. Stress for example has been suggested as homeostatic, and it resists changing levels. To change levels of any homeostatically controlled substance, one needs to modify the homeostatic forces. Sounds simple enough.

There are reasons for wanting to modify homeostatic conditions. Perhaps someone has stored too much adipose tissue — fat. Maybe your blood sugars are too high. Maybe you have lots of pent up creativity that needs to be released. “Everybody has a novel in them.” It’s really only a matter of releasing the gates to enable it to flow out.

The big problem is that what controls substances is not always easy to identify or is easily misunderstood. There can be layered effects which mask the root triggers of gates. It sounds so simple that blood sugar is controlled by insulin and glucagon. We can give insulin injections easy enough. I’ve given myself many tens of thousands over the years. But how does one control glucagon, and does one need to control it? This is one of the hidden, nefarious deficiencies in type 1 diabetics: we cannot control our glucagon like a normal person.

Huh?

Yup, most of us are runaway sugar-making factories. The sugar-making gates are wide open. And it’s due to our lack of amylin. This hormone is made in our pancreatic beta cells just like insulin, and it’s released when we eat food. It’s job is to control glucagon. No amylin means runaway glucagon, and of course every type 1 is different. I release a lot of glucagon when I eat. In fact, eating meat or salad is not very different than eating bread for me. I still need to inject copius amounts of insulin.

Fat is the easy one. If we eat too much food we get fat, and if we don’t burn enough we get fat. All we need to do is control these two gates. And it really does work; which is why 97% of all diets fail. Hello? Yup, we’ve not correctly understood the homeostatic forces of fat accumulation. There is a third force or group of forces called hormones.  Fat is stored and released from cells via lipases. This is science, and it shouldn’t be debateable. We don’t accept it publicly or in the science and medical communities, but these are the fat storage homeostatic forces. To change fat storage, we change the forces on these lipases, and counterintuitively, insulin is the major force on these lipases. When insulin is high, we will store more fat. When insulin is low, we will burn more fat. Energy expenditure doesn’t open these gates, and if the gates won’t open, energy can’t be expended. The body will search for more energy instead. Hence, gluttony and sloth can be clearly seen as symptoms of obesity, not causes.

Can we translate these ideas to our creativity? Can we become better writers by tearing down the homeostatic forces trapping our creativity? One of the enablers I’ve found is technical writing knowledge. One can’t easily write if one doesn’t really know how to. So learn your five sentence structures. Learn how to use commas and colons and dashes. Learn when it’s okay not to. Learn your words. Learn advanced grammar concepts. Learn story writing techniques. Learn!

Read. Reading opens the mind and feeds the muse. It starts our brain on working with ideas, and ideas lead to ideas. Let’s try a simple example. Let’s say I wanted to take a photograph of a homeostatic condition. Let’s begin by taking two random words, then taking more words triggered from those words, and so on until we come up with an idea for a photograph:

1. race car  2. turtle
fast and slow
highway driving
traffic jam

Okay, let’s find a nice overpass and take a picture of a traffic jam. But homeostasis suggests a cause. Let’s add a construction project. Voila: homeostasis. All we need to do is finish the construction, and traffic will flow better. 

Moscow Traffic

Yeah, right.

So read!

Stress and distractions impede our creative writing. Shut the television off. Kick the kids out of the house. Send the spouse away for a weekend. Turn off Facebook and your blog, seriously. Make some quiet time. I like to get up at 4AM, make a pot of coffee, and write in quiet darkness before it’s time to do the daily battles. My mind is blank and free and not filled with the day’s stresses.

Homeostasis. It’s balance. Learn to identify and affect balance points. Realize you may be wrong. Adjust!

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