Try this practice to get into a subconscious writing groove
Do you ever write something, put it away, find it later, and think, “I wrote that?” I sometimes wonder where some of my sentences came from. I’ve decided it has something to do with getting into a groove and writing from my subconscious.
I ran across some pages like these recently, and I thought of a stream of consciousness writing exercise I learned years ago at a workshop. It’s a good way to create pages of writing from your subconscious and collect bits and pieces you can use to create poems, inspiration for an essay, or even fodder for a memoir. You can do this writing practice regularly or whenever you’re feeling knocked out of your groove. I’m committing to do it for 12 days just because I want a good collection of material.
This is a practice that can benefit from early morning writing sessions right after you wake up or when you’re tired and winding down. It also works well if you feel out of sorts or restless because you’ll likely access interesting thoughts and ideas.
Here’s how to start:
Each day, at least once, open a notebook and choose where on the page you’ll stop. Or open a blank document on your computer. Begin writing at the top of the page and continue writing until you’ve reached your stopping point, which should be at least one single-spaced page. In the beginning, start with a 10-minute session and work up to about 20 minutes. Feel free to do it more than once a day.
You might feel self conscious, and this practice may seem awkward at first but just keep going. Write your heart out. Don’t worry about how much sense it makes. Think in pictures and sensory images. Don’t even think about punctuation, spacing, grammar, spelling or clarity. Just write. When you’re done. Stop. Don’t read the sentences. Just print out the pages and put them in a drawer. Accumulate about 10 to 12 pages before going to the next step.
In my next post, I’ll tell you what’s next. Are you in? If so, start writing now.