Saturday, December 18, 2010

Your Subconscious

How much does your subconscious influence your writing? Know any good tricks?
We've all read the "how to" books which tell writers to let their subconscious juices flow. You tried doing that? I swear a little imp called "Here-and-Now" pops in, sucks up the secretions and nags me to stop daydreaming and haven't I got something better to do? Or is that my husband? OK, you can also brainstorm for ten minutes or so. At least you feel busy that way, but just how many words come to you when the central theme is: Write a Novel. Six? What about taking a handful of prompts or subjects as Holly Lisle suggests here in her workshop ?

Tried it and spent several hours considering how an alien could have babies with a chiropodist's corn and callous scraper whilst hanging from a ledge of a high-rise by his fingertips, or suckers, or whatever aliens have.
By the way, this isn't a "By Jove, I've got it" flavour of the month fashion, you know. I read in Dorothea Brande's "Becoming a Writer"   (which she wrote in 1934) that I had to be two people: to let the unconscious one run wild and the conscious weed out what is right and wrong (I think we have another name for that type of condition nowadays). And also to "Hold your mind still. Close your eyes". Yes, I enjoyed the snoozefest once my brain stopped random ping-ponging.
So I concluded that my subconscious - if I had one - lounged about with a don't-mess-with-me attitude and giving me the finger. Until I started guest-blogging and my hosts asked me where my ideas came from. After much soul-searching, the best I could come up with was, "I haven't a clue" which is probably why I'm never invited back again and no-one comments with "What a fabulous post".
But, I don't know, still...and all - those ideas must get dredged up from somewhere, mustn't they? I mean, in the end I found the book does tend to write itself...Could it be...? Really? You mean it is alive and kicking?
How much does your subconscious influence your writing? Know any good tricks?