The Secret To Writing Faster And With More Focus Writing In Your Sleep

The Secret To Writing Faster And With More Focus Writing In Your Sleep



One of​ the​ most powerful tools in​ my creative arsenal is​ what I call unconscious creativity.

No,​ I do not ask someone to​ brain me with a​ hammer and I don't even need to​ be actually unconscious. This is​ when I simply allow my unconscious to​ do all the​ heavy lifting for me creatively. it​ is​ the​ use of​ this method that has allowed me to​ write quickly when working as​ a​ newspaper reporter and to​ generate several books while also working a​ demanding full-time job and going to​ school.

This method falls back on​ the​ age-old advice to​ "sleep on​ a​ problem". Have you ever been worried about a​ decision or​ struggled to​ remember something important before bedtime only to​ wake up the​ next morning with the​ answer sharp and clear in​ your mind as​ if​ it​ was a​ gift from the​ gods? it​ is​ a​ gift of​ sort,​ but no outside agency delivered it​ to​ you. the​ answer was supplied to​ you by your greatest creative ally-your subconscious.

Unconscious creativity uses the​ power of​ the​ unconscious mind. the​ simplest technique is​ incubation,​ where after thinking about the​ challenge consciously for some time,​ it​ is​ put to​ one side and left for a​ while. Often a​ solution will pop into your mind unbidden,​ as​ your mind continues to​ work on​ the​ problem below your level of​ awareness.

The human brain is​ a​ beautiful,​ highly-functional instrument and yet we​ utilize so little of​ its power. Our unconscious does amazing things for us. it​ helps with our daily coordination needed for useful tasks such as​ walking,​ eating,​ breathing,​ driving. it​ stores memories for us,​ it​ keeps a​ check on​ those things that are truly important to​ us (our values),​ it​ reminds us what we​ believe. Most of​ the​ time it​ does these things (and a​ myriad more) without us even having to​ consciously think about it​ - that's why it's called the​ unconscious,​ by the​ way!

However,​ it​ does something even more wonderful: it​ is​ able to​ sift and sort vast quantities of​ data (things we​ have seen,​ heard,​ said,​ felt,​ smelt,​ tasted) and recognize patterns and generate ways of​ responding. it​ sometimes does this in​ wonderfully creative ways. we​ often overlook the​ potential of​ our unconscious mind and instead let it​ worry about such trivia as​ our dental hygienist's name and whether or​ not we​ remembered to​ buy peanut butter. However,​ it​ doesn't have to​ be that way. Using the​ unconscious as​ a​ creative tool is​ very simple.

Spend some time consciously thinking about your writing task or​ challenge. What are the​ parameters of​ the​ project? What are the​ special requirements? What ideas do you have already? What specific questions do you need to​ work on​ further? Sometimes even spending some time jotting down the​ ideas you have is​ a​ good idea. Don't work on​ shaping or​ organizing them. Just record them on​ paper or​ computer file. You may not even need them later,​ but the​ process of​ recording them can be a​ helpful way to​ prepare your subconscious for its task.

Then forget about it! That's right. Move on​ with your life and consciously think about something else. Revise another project. Read something for education or​ pleasure.

The incubation time varies according to​ your creative personality and of​ course the​ size of​ the​ project at​ hand. I've found a​ few days usually works best although even giving myself a​ few hours can be beneficial. Doing something physical is​ often helpful during the​ incubation period and sometimes this is​ the​ only time I really get my gardening or​ housework accomplished!

When I am working on​ a​ novel I allow my subconscious to​ work scene by scene through the​ book and often when I sit down at​ the​ computer I find the​ words just flow throw me as​ the​ scene plays itself in​ my head almost like a​ movie. I have heard of​ several authors who are able to​ program their dreams so they are literally writing in​ their sleep. Dreams can be as​ vivid as​ a​ painting,​ as​ resonant as​ music,​ and as​ symbolic as​ poetry. Using this method I can often write a​ scene a​ day (sometimes in​ less than an​ hour) which is​ fairly decent progress while simultaneously working full-time and maintaining a​ life.

While it​ is​ often frightening to​ think about trusting something as​ important as​ the​ writing project of​ your heart to​ your subconscious,​ it​ might help to​ remember that your brain is​ a​ muscle of​ sorts. Your unconscious mind controls many muscle functions for you all the​ time (try thinking about the​ way that you walk while you actually walk. I always trip when I think too much about the​ action of​ walking and yet I don't trip when I'm not thinking about it.)

The same is​ true for great athletes. They talk about being in​ the​ zone. the​ zone is​ simply the​ place where they can act and react without consciously thinking about what needs to​ be done. the​ body and unconscious mind handle all the​ details. Thinking too hard can actually interfere with the​ zone and this is​ true of​ writing as​ well. Interestingly,​ a​ recent study of​ professional and amateur golfers showed that the​ amateur golfers had significantly more conscious activity when playing a​ shot than did the​ professionals. I would bet something similar would result if​ experienced and novice writers were studied.

So give unconscious creativity a​ try and see how far it​ takes you. Simply program your subconscious and then leave it​ alone to​ incubate for a​ while. it​ may take some time to​ find the​ method of​ tapping into your subconscious after your incubation period. For some freewriting or​ journaling serve to​ unlock the​ fruits of​ your unconscious labor. Usually,​ I sit myself down and begin the​ task at​ hand. it​ is​ often slow-going at​ first but I force myself forward and at​ some point my subconscious kicks in​ and the​ words start flowing and the​ keyboard starts clicking away.

Best of​ luck with your writing!




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