Alice Sebold, Writing, and the Unconscious

Writing is living; living is writing.

I am one of those people who is so identified with my calling that I can’t seperate myself from it.  I see analogies to writing and the writing process in everything.  Apparently the same is true with Alice Sebold.

Catching up on my magazine reading at lunchtime today (magazines are far superior to read with a meal than books, but that’s a topic for another day) I was finishing up the latest issue of O today.

There’s a nice collection of articles on faith and The Leap, as in The Leap of Faith. Alice Sebold equates taking leaps of faith to getting up very, very early and writing.   

She talks about how once the rest of the world wakes up she can feel its pull on her and away she goes from her writing.  Yet,

"The work I leave behind in my study is unfinished and unknowable almost every day.  Characters come alive and die in an instant, metaphors wobble, and sentences shift meaning without my fully understanding how.  After all, conscious thought is the death of creativity and to have faith in one’s unconscious is the ultimate need of a writer–at least this one.  Dreams go unfinished while we sleep but can be completed upon waking if we both have faith and are willing to do the grueling work of follow-through."

I really needed to be reminded of this, which is no doubt why it struck me so.  I’ve been getting up every morning at 5:30 to work on my novel, but every morning this week my computer has had issues waking up (I’m pretty sure computers age like dogs, and mine, at two years old, is now entering recalcitrant teenhood.) 

Then, of course, if I don’t get my AM writing session in, the world comes along and clobbers me with a million other to-dos. 

Tomorrow.  For sure.

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