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Friday, December 30, 2011

Submitting to the Subconscious

Jennifer Haupt explores writing rituals at the Psychology Today blog, asking, "Writing Rituals: Spiritual or Simply Habits?", a question she doesn't actually bother to answer....

She does mention a few rituals of various writers, including the following:

"At the end of each writing day I think, What do I want to write about tomorrow? I ask questions about the bare bones of the scene or chapter: Who needs to be here? What's the mood? Are they inside or outside, alone or in a crowd? What should be resolved or undone by the end of this scene? Then I put the questions on my pin board and close up for the day. In the morning, not only do I know where to start, but I've given my subconscious mind a chance to scribble in the details."
- Susan Henderson, Up From the Blue

Earlier this year, I saw similar advice from Julianna Baggott on her blog, Baggott, Asher, Bode, about letting your subconscious do some of the work for you. Here's what she had to say:

2. If you can't (or choose not to) write in the mornings, still run your eyes over your pages so you can keep your characters at the fore of your mind as you walk through your day ...

9. And, of course, tell yourself you're going to write. Let your subconscious begin to prepare the material, and then show up.

I tried these tips earlier this, and they were very helpful to me, especially thinking about the poem I was working on just before going to sleep. But I've since forgotten to keep this habit up. What a great reminder as the New Year comes!


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