Monday, April 29, 2013

Writing in different states of consciousness

No, I am not talking about a 1960s-esq, Hunter S. Thompson gonzo experiment. No Timothy Leary blotter paper or special mushrooms for you today (at least not due to my counsel).

What I am asking you to consider is the assumption that you must be totally "with it" and at your best and to write. I did not sleep very well last night, and woke up, as we say in our house, squishy. I don't feel very bright, and am not sure that I am going to write anything very insightful. Yet, I have some work on a chapter to do, and my calendar said that it was a writing hour. So, write I will (with this as a warm up).

Yet, I also know that I can take advantage of my different states, moods or spaces. Each allows for a different type of writing, and a different way of approaching a problem. While not a specific weakened challenge, I do suggest you learn to write under less than ideal psychic conditions.   Spend some time writing when it seems less than ideal; you may learn something about your own process. You also may feel good about yourself and your fortitude and consistency by pushing through when you may otherwise not have.


  1. This is very similar to advice concerning exercise. When you don't feel like it, get dressed in workout clothes anyway and do something for 10 minutes. If you want to quit after 10 minutes, do it. Chances are you will stick with it if you can talk yourself into giving it a try for just a few minutes. You even have the "warm-up" included. I use this a lot to get started on writing. I finally have learned that I cannot afford to wait for perfect conditions before I write.

  2. My experience is that when I listen to the different types of music I will think something differently and thus write differently.

    I do sometimes force myself to sit besides the desk to write, and surprisingly, good papers have been produced under such pressure.