|"What The Subconscious is to every other man, in its creative aspect becomes, for writers, The Muse." ~Ray Bradbury|
Dear Creative Friend,
My greatest creative resource is my behavedless subconscious.
According to auto-correct, Webster, and "duh", "behavedless" is not a word, but it emerged unfettered simply because it pleased my conscious and I didn't extinguish it due to logic or something silly like than. It brought something new into existence. It kept you reading this far.
My conscious is fond of my subconscious because when the creative process is allowed to play unbehaved without restrictions, the subconscious is like a happy child, a brilliant comedian, or a smart-ass audience member free to volunteer ideas that do everything from amuse me (God, don't we need amusement right now!) to catapult me into a new creative adventure.
The subconscious harbors treasures for writers and artists. There we store the facts, experiences, personality quirks, and emotions we have absorbed from living in and responding to the world. As these things collect, their combinations, applications, and associations can result in the effortless surprise of rich creative expression or just a hell of a good time.
But how do we connect with these sparks of genius?
Here's my Behavedless Plan: I let my instincts override my thinking. It helps me to have unexpected, fresh cues as springboards to associations my subconscious has just been percolating. (Not the tired usual ones you see in every book and on every blog).
Uncensored ideas can turn into, for instance, a speech I did because I bought an expensive flight attendant costume for a party and wanted to get a little more value out of it. I wrote a speech called What I learned in the Bermuda Triangle.
I noticed working with clients, students, and retreat participants that guided meditations take them deep into the intuition where ideas exist more freely than when their hurried minds are preoccupied with habitual thinking and the current worried way of the world. It's easiest if someone does that for you... less likely for your mind to wander over to social media and the refrigerator.
For three ways to access your subconscious for spontaneous creative combustion meet me at the next article down. Spoiler Alert... I also want you to sign-up for my on-line writing class that is all about these techniques and freeing the subconscious.
1. Go Fast
The subconscious operates faster than the conscious mind because it colludes with instinct and instinct is one fast chick. Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg have both promoted techniques where we write so fast that the conscious mind cannot catch up and break in with critical comments. Have you done this recently? Have you explored how it works when you have a cue? Here are a few cues:
Quickly finish these unfinished sentences several times or, if your intuition gets in a flow with one, go with it!:
- Did I tell you about the time ....
There will always be....
- I'll ...
A two word trigger can also elicit a creative excursion in both writing and art. See where the following word-duets might take you by allowing quick associations, both visual and written, in a list or mind map and then consider choosing one and taking it on a journey:
- Fragile night
- Uneven love
- Solitary sky
- Lost laughter
(Send me what you wrote for a drawing for one of my
Awe-manacs for yourself or a friend.)
2. Stoke Your Gusto
Ray Bradbury talks about gusto:
“Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating, by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road he wants to go. I would only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.”
He also wrote: "If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer. .. you are not being yourself. For the first thing a writer should be is excited. He should be a thing of fevers and enthusiasms. Without such vigor, he might as well be out picking peaches or digging ditches."
Lady Gaga has her way with a similar notion:
“When you make music or write or create, it's really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you're writing about at the time. ”
Where does gusto, fun and passion come from? What are the best and worst things in your life?
Search your subconscious for what sets you on fire. Find what is dulling your senses like maybe the news, what you're eating, addictions, and distractions. Toy with taking a vacation from those things. Mine your childhood for what made your eyes light-up.
3. Attend a quirky class
All three of my books are filled with cues that move the writer and artist beyond the stifling conscious to access intuition and associations but the fun and structure of a class, workshop or retreat somehow creates a contagious energy that makes the process more fun and effortless.
|And now something you might REALLY like.|
- Online Writing Workshop: March 12 – April 6, 2018
Keep Creativity Alive with Instinctual Writing More Here
- Underground Highway to Creative Results
If you want to defy the addiction of news and other distractions, are having a hard time showing up on your own, or would just like to be in the company of creative inspiration. this monthly group is geared to just that. Check out the Underground Highway to Creative Result. Go Underground- sign up by March 15 and receive a free alphabet poster
- Seven Tuesdays April 3 - May 15, 2018 (No class May 1)
Finding Uber Bliss: A Wildly Creative Journey to the Present Moment is starting up again in the Spring. Mindfulness and Creativity meet. More about Finding Uber Bliss Here
- Two Thursdays, March 22 and April 5, 2018
The Company Muse: Business Building for the Reluctant Marketer
If you want to move forward with promoting your art but hate marketing, I get it. I was there too. Here's how you work through it and flourish. Two overwhelm-proof workshops. Marketing Savvy for Creatives
- July 17- 21, 2018 Camp Creative Thunder in Taos
When's the last time you were pampered, had time JUST to write, laugh, do art, have gourmet meals prepared for you, and got to be a kid again? If it's been too long, come to Taos this summer.
Early registration prices until April 1, 2018
- February 15-19, 2019 The Muse in Winter
The Mabel Dodge Luhan House is especially cozy in the winter, where doing art, writing, yoga, and improv is specially blessed by the snow covered mountains around but not too cold to find some clarity by walking the labyrinth (and eating incredible food). The Muse in Winter.
Jill Badonsky, M.Ed. is designer and head muse of the Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coaching Certification Training started in 2004, multimedia artist, yoga teacher, and author/illustrator of three books on creativity.