Inspiration & Training Your Brain

A lot of my stories have their beginnigs in my dreams and nightmares. I try to write as much of them as I rember, only sometimes the pen takes on a life of its own. The ink flows and a story develops on the page, no longer the dream but a living breathing story with its own merrit. I feel like I am cheating when this happens because the story was served up on the proverbial silver platter instead of being birthed on a sheet of paper with much gnashing of teeth, sweat, tears, and ink splatter. And I think I’m an idiot and just should get back to the writing, counting my blessings my subconscious was on the job working its magic.

Lots of writers mention the importance of the subconscious working with the conscious mind on the current writing project. This double process works to keep the writer fully engaged in the writing process, even when they aren’t writing. I admit when I first read about this from Mr. Lawrence Block I was skeptical of how to train your mind to work on writing when you aren’t writing. Then surprise, surprise, I read a similar idea from Mr. Stephen King too. Well sir, if those two gentlemen in two wholly seperate genres could voice the same notion maybe perhaps a mind could be trained. (I am still working out the how of training. However york pepermint patties are not a good training tool. Gave me nightmares.)

So far my process has been to review the story I am working on if no other inspiration strikes. Sometimes a problem resolves itself or I am able to write several more pages. Then there are the nights when the story keeps bugging me, but my brain is mush. I keep the story whirling in my head before I go to sleep, and thoughts or ideas work their way through my drifting, disconnected brain. If the thought is strong enough I’ll write it down otherwise I let ’em drift, mingle and in the morning I have the essence of the night’s exercises.

I have found only one draw back to this method o’maddness; I know when its 4:30 and my brain has finished and ready for my conscious brain’s attention, because nothing but 6 am will let my conscious brain get back to sleeping. Of course the blooming alarm goes off and you gotta take the hound out and start the workday. Lovely isn’t it. As I said still working on the process of brain writing training. Cheers, james

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