Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Feeding Your Subconscious Writer's Brain
Our subconscious writer's brains are like magic, too. The old adage says to "write what you know." That doesn't mean write only about the things you've actually done, the people you actually know, the places you've actually visited. Writing what you know encompasses a whole lot more. Anything you've ever read, movies you've seen, television you've watched, stories you've heard--EVERYTHING becomes a part of you and is stored in your magical subconscious writer's brain.
There's a flip side to this: You can feed information and data into your SWB.
We already do this instinctively when we do research for our books and stories. No matter whether we pore over tomes at the library, check out a couple of "Dummies" books, conduct interviews or sit for hours searching Google; research is feeding your SWB.
I take this a step further. I only figured this out last summer when I had one of my writerly moments. I had been in a writer's slump for five years. I started projects, but couldn't finish them. I was making all kinds of excuses NOT to write and I was miserable. I was really doubting myself as a writer.
During these five years, I read numerous books on the writing craft, took online classes, attended seminars. My brain was so crammed full of "rules" and techniques, I was literally paralyzed. There was so much to remember while writing. How could I ever keep it all straight?
Finally, I'd had enough. I was tired of NOT writing. I decided to shove all that lovely information on writing to the back of my brain and trust my SWB to use it as needed. And it worked!!! I started and finished a manuscript. I'll be submitting it this month. I feel like a writer again!!!
So then it occurred to me, I could deliberately feed my SWB with information to be used as needed. My current venture in this ongoing experiment is to read as many fairy-tales, folk tales, legends and myths as I can. These tales have classic story structures and will be great weapons in my arsenal.
Don't underestimate the power of your subconscious writer's brain. Learn to utilize it and your writing will be the better for it.