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Posts tagged ‘Robert Olen Butler’

How I started writing in my dream state — And what I learned

As I write this, I’m thinking about following the advice of my blogging partner and taking a nap. That’s because I woke up extra early this morning to write in my dream state.

If you read my last blog post, you know that I decided to turn myself into a morning person after reading the book, “From Where You Dream.”

Here’s more about how I did it and what I learned, starting with a note I had sent to my writer’s group back when I started waking up early: Read more

Write from your white-hot center – your dream state

Most people know whether they’re morning people or night people. I’m pretty sure I’m a hybrid. I love early mornings, but I also like to stay up late. Of course, it’s pretty hard to be both ways for long before you crash and burn and have to catch up on sleeping, which I also enjoy.

And despite the fact that I enjoy mornings, I’m not usually one of those ultra early risers. That changed when I read Robert Olen Butler’s book From Where You Dream. This book had a huge influence on my approach to writing.

Art does not come from what you know – the mind, Butler says. Art comes from the place where you dream. Art comes from your unconscious; it comes from the white-hot center of you. Do not “will” the work, Butler says. Write when you feel it’s coming from your unconscious. Butler’s instructions reminds me of how writer John Gardner described novels as “vivid, continuous dreams.”

I was intrigued by what Butler had to say about writing in your “dream state.” I wanted to see how my writing could be different with this approach. I wanted to be more committed to a daily writing practice. Like most writers who juggle writing along with full-time jobs and all the other stuff in life, I had been thinking about my schedule and how I could increase my writing time. I knew writing first thing in the morning was my best chance to write every day before other events or interruptions could interfere — best laid plans and all that. I was ready to put myself in a trance. Read more

Are you a writer in waiting?

Are you someone who wants to be writing but can’t really call yourself a writer because you aren’t really writing anything? It’s easy to let life get in the way. But if writing is important to you, you must pursue it regularly despite what life flings your way. Whether you write three sentences, 100 words or 1,000, it all adds up. The days have a way of slipping by, and you don’t want to wake up someday and regret what you didn’t do.

Be conscious of your time and how you’re spending it. Have you designed your life to fit your desire to write? Are you spending your hours on your most important priorities? Most writers — published and unpublished — have many commitments to juggle, not to mention day jobs. But they still fit writing in. Read more