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?


  1. Yes--the subconscious is always at work in one's writing--at least it certainly is for me! And my book also seemed to write itself but the things I'm working on now seem a bit more difficult and THEN... there are those frightening dry spells!

    I like your blog!

  2. Isn't genius supposed to be seated in the subconscious? I think it was Steven Hawking who said he gets an inspired insight and then spends months trying to prove it logically. The trouble is we are conditioned to ignore these insights because they are unpredictable and unmeasurable.
    Your subconscious speaks to you in dreams. Pay more attention to them because some of the wackiest ideas make good premises for stories. And if you get stuck in your plot ask you subconscious to give you an answer before you go to sleep at night - often you'll wake up with the answer.

  3. Thank you authorinprogress and Sandra. Yes, it's always there even when we're not aware of it. There are dry spells, but all of a sudden "wham!" it hits you. Why? Haven't a clue.
    Sandra, there are many who get inspiration from dreams.

  4. Article writers must remember that even if they are given the freedom to write in any manner that they prefer, they should not allow too much of their creativity, as it is just article rewriting so the article must contain the same message as the original article. this website


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