Being a writer is fabulous, isn’t it? I think when I first started writing, I couldn’t imagine earning my living as a writer because I worried about where my ideas would come from. Even more scary was the thought that I’d be in the middle of a chapter and wouldn’t know what should happen next.
Time has cured these writing anxieties. Now I know there is an unlimited source of ideas. And the best part is – they are all inside me (and you)! How does that work, you say. The simple answer is – I don’t know. It doesn’t matter if you think of it as your own subconscious, Jung’s collective unconscious, a lightning strike out of the Void or what. I only know that it’s so.
Nowdays when I’m in the middle of chapter and I don’t know exactly what happens next, I “assign” it to my subconscious mind to figure out. That’s right. I give my subconscious mind permission to work it out. I tell it what the problem it, some of the functions of the scene, maybe what I want the outcome to be etc. Then I let it go at it. It may take awhile – a few hours, a few days, perhaps more if it’s really something big. And in the meantime, I work on something else like the next chapter or some other part of the book.
Every now and then, I remind it that I’m still waiting – just to give it a nudge, you understand. And then the most miraculous thing happens – I’m in the middle of preparing a meal, or I’m walking in nature or doing any number of other things and voila, the answer comes to me.
The trick to it is this – relax! Your only “job” in the process is to be receptive so when the ideas do show up, you recognise it!