Creative Problem-Solving: Following Your Stream of Consciousness
Having trouble finding a solution to a nagging problem? Try a well-known journaling technique called stream of consciousness--you may be surprised at the creative messages you receive from your inner self.
Take the case of Shana, an online journaler who had a problematic relationship with a co-worker. When Shana allowed herself the "scary" experience of stream of consciousness journaling, she quickly realized her intensely emotional reaction to the co-worker was, in fact, related to a similar situation with an ex-spouse. In both situations Shana felt like a doormat--but until her journaling, she didn't realize the two were connected.
Stream of consciousness is a style of writing that is uninterrupted, unedited, and unstructured. Typically, a journaler approaches the blank page without intention--then simply waits for something to come. However, when used as a problem-solving technique, approach your journaling with a specific intention, knowing that whatever comes out of your subconscious will contain clues to a solution.
Once you begin writing, don't try to make sense of it-just keep writing, ignoring any questions or comments coming from your mind. Remember, this isn't a mental or literary exercise, but rather an opportunity to give voice to the inner you. No matter how silly the words seem, just keeping writing. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. Set a 10 minute timer and write until the 10 minutes are up. If your mind goes blank, just write something like, my mind is blank, my mind is blank, and keep writing until something else comes into your consciousness.
Wonder what another journaler's stream of consciousness writing looks like? This is a sample from a writer dealing with guilt over infidelity in a relationship:
broccoli, sting beans, rage, rivers, rockets, take me to the end of the world and drop me off the edge, oh columbus of mine with blueberries in your hair and apples in your eyes. cheeks of rosy red i am iam iamiamiam. skyrockets, fuses, short fuses burning til they can't be stopped, racing madly through space trying to catch up with yourself. get off the damned train. ribbons wrapped throughout my white matter, red, blue, green and yellow, trailing sadness and madness and getevenness. hearts a breakin, heads a breaking, hearts open and arrows leaking bloody mass you are. orange is the color of my true love's courage, black is the color of my loyalty and fidelity. pull the arrows out without leaving a scar, can you? bears watch over us as we sail through dragon-filled deserts, pyramids of shimmering green and gold and malachite, crystal balls guard the entry.
Although this may sound like gibberish to you, to the journaler, it contained several clues about the depth of her guilt, as well as insight into what brought about the infidelity. Like dreams, the symbols in a stream of consciousness journal session, are often best interpreted by the dreamer himself.
If you've never done stream of consciousness journaling, don't be afraid to experiment with different approaches. For example, pick a topic--any topic--and writing everything you can think about it. Like fishing, or bicycles, or cats, or fans, or canyons. Frequently, when writing about a seemingly "random" topic, insight -- those ah-ha moments-will appear that actually solve a problem you weren't even thinking about.
Copyright 2004 Patti Prague
Journal Genie, The Website That Talks Back
You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included and the resource box is left unchanged. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.
About The Author
Patti Prague is content manager at JournalGenie.com, the only online site that analyzes your writing and then gives you instant feedback. Discover self-defeating patterns, find better ways to communicate in relationships. Contact her at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing - Copyrights and Trademarks Protect You
When most people consider writing a book, they don't thinkabout Trademarks. However, I highly recommend that youleverage your writing for multiple purposes, and that's whyregistering a Trademark for your concept is a good idea.
Imagine The Imagination
Imagine a three hundred page book was in the author's mind before it was poured out onto the pages of the book.Imagine all those words are words we all know and use but one person takes those words and arranges them in a certain way in the mind; the person fuses these words to form a story.
7 Devastating Writing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Writing engaging articles and energizing ad copy takes more than just typing out what you want to say. By correcting these major mistakes, your copy will soar to newfound heights.
Writing Is Not Life-threatening
Some writers complain that writing is arduous work requiring long hours and little pay, which is often true especially for freelance fiction writers. Today, everyone wants to be a writer and with word processors and computers it is easy to put thoughts down, but it is not always effortless to be published unless one self-publishes or uses a vanity press.
Web Writing: Create Writing Flow With Four Uncommon Connectors
Connectors -- conjunctions, punctuation, and transitional phrases -- allow readers to process information promptly by creating balance and relationships between sentence parts. The connectors are performing the same work as verbs, objects, modifiers and multiple subjects.
On Giving and Receiving Feedback
Writing is a personal and introspective process. To share with another what we wrote is to risk.
How To Break Into Print Publishing
The big question. Do you submit directly to the publishers, or doyou find an agent who will do that for you? Based on anecdotalevidence I've heard, it can work either way.
You Can Be An Author
"You should write a book." For years, I had been hearing this comment.
Top Ten Tips (Part 2)
Golden Rules For New Writers - Things you need to know before you begin.Rules govern everything we do in life; even if those rules are of theunwritten kind we abide by them and expect other people to do the same.
Its All About YOU!
The Hottest Word on the WebDid you know marketing people and copywriters are developing a science about writing for readers in this new medium called the Web? In fact, they use carefully selected words to catch a reader's attention. Here are a few:NewTrueAuthoritySexualGuaranteedBonusFirstQuickNowCatchFastPersonalSpiritualSuccessFreeThese words are not in any order of importance or frequency.
Writing Made Them Rich #1: JK Rowling
Joanne Kathleen Rowling was born in Chipping Sodbury,England in 1965. She began writing at the age of 6 with astory called 'Rabbit', which she never finished.
Who Else Wants To Make $3546 By Simply Pressing a Button!
If you have been online for any length of time you have probably stumbled across many of the incredible claims of online marketing gurus making thousands of dollars just by sending out simple emails with the click of a button.If you are like me, you are intrigued and want to learn exactly how these gurus make more money with a few minutes work, then most people bring home after working for an entire month!To me it just didn't seem fair.
How to Write Bad Poetry
So you've decided to crown yourself with a title that a million other people (just like you (yes, just like you!)) give themselves every day. Some people believe giving yourself such a title is equivalent to, and just as beneficial monetarily, as naming yourself Queen of England.
Need a Book Coach, Ghost Writer, or Editor? Part 2
If you either want to write a book to help others create a better life and boost business or you already have your book nearly finished, you may need book coaching to answer all of your questions "What step to take next?"Know Your Editing ChoicesLine editing. Use this final professional edit after you have already revised your work three times.
Getting Published Is Different For Everyone: Two Paths Among Many
One obvious question that can get overlooked in the process of seeking publication is, Why do you want to publish this book, article, story or poem? Most likely, the answer involves some combination of artistic or spiritual vision, desire for recognition, need to communicate an idea or body of knowledge, feeling a compelling urge to shift consciousness around a particular topic, seeing a knowledge gap in the general society and feeling called to fill it, and of course receiving a little or a lot of financial compensation for one's efforts.As writers, as creative people, it can be difficult to join the artistic and spiritual sides of what drives us with the practical and business concerns.
Do The Unfamiliar To Keep Your Writing Going
One of the best ways to blow someone's winning streak during a tennis game is to comment on how great they are doing. Your comment will kick in their left brain's inner critic which will zap their flow and change their focus.
Discover the Writer Hiding Inside You
Has the thought run across you mind that you might want to write a column or two? Maybe you thought about writing your own material for your company newsletter. Maybe someone asked you to share your expertise with others by writing a how-to paper.
Should You Write a Book?
One morning, you open your inbox and find several e-mails that will boost your business. There is an invitation to speak at a local group comprised of your best prospects.
Ten Quick Tips for Inexperienced Writers
One of the biggest problems that inexperienced writers have is simply knowing how to get started. If you've unsure of your writing skills, then here are some quick tips to help you get started.
Writing Press Releases That Get Noticed
Among the various foolproof methods used to boost traffic to your site (ezine advertising, and search engine submitting, to name a couple) one method seems to be forgotten about by many new Internet marketers. That method is writing press releases.