Using Intution In Your Writing

I'm reading a book that I'm going to review here as part of a blog tour for the author.  The book is called Second Sight, by Judith Orloff, and it is a memoir/self-help book.  I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here, because the review isn't slated until March 1st.  I'll be writing much more about it then, but I wanted to discuss one aspect of the book today.

That aspect is intuition.Brain01

Judith Orloff, you see, is an intuitive psychiatrist.  She's no slouch, either.  She's been in private practice forever and is faculty at UCLA.  She's one of the towering figures in the area of uniting intuition and traditional medicine.  I wanted to read the book because I was interested in learning new ways to utilize intuition in my writing.

How much do you use intuition in your writing?

If you'd asked me that last week, I would have answered, a ton.  Because I believe strongly that establishing a regular practice of connection–one form of intuition–is the bedrock of all writing and creativity.  But after reading and copying one of Orloff's techniques yesterday, I think I've been missing out.

Orloff talks about remote viewing, which is essentially tuning into someone or something far away.  I could go on and on about some of the fascinating stories she tells, but I will save that for the actual review. (Brief aside: my Welsh friend Derek and I experimented with remote viewing just for the fun of it, sending photos back and forth and trying to hone in on what they contained.  The results were sometimes astoundingly accurate.)  She used remote viewing to try to tune into her patients and so forth.

I decided to play around with the process  she used, and after wasting spending a few minutes attempting to tune into friends near and far, I applied the process to the characters I'm working with in a new novel project.

Note how I call it a new novel project?  I'm not convinced it is going to be a novel yet, so I'm referring to it by a euphemism.  "Novel project" sounds a bit less certain than novel.  Anyway, I don't know much about my characters yet.  And I need to.  So I did a bit of remote viewing on them.  (I'm actually not sure if you can remote view characters who don't actually exist, but you get the point.)

Wow.  The results were amazing.  A stream of new information appeared, all of it relevant and useful.  I tried it again this morning, and yet more came through.  So I thought I'd share the process with you.  And let me be clear that this is my take on what Orloff described, as I've not yet gotten to the part where she explains how to do it.

1.  Get comfy, have pen and paper handy, and close your eyes.

2.  Take a few deep centering breaths to quiet your mind.

3.  Repeat the name of the character to yourself, or ask a question pertaining to your writing.

4.  Pay close attention to what comes up.  It might be visual images or words.

5.  Be patient, it can sometimes take awhile.  Sitting with the question or name is key.

6.  Open your eyes and make notes about what you got.

That's it, that's all you have to do.  It is not woo-woo in the least, just a simple process to utilize intuition to access information about your writing.  So give it a try and let me know what happens.

How else do you use intuition in your writing?  I'd love to hear about it.

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9 Responses to Using Intution In Your Writing

  1. Don 02/16/2010 at 13:45 #

    Actually, I do something similar.

    First, I simply have a nice little snack, something real yummy that I really like, and then I relax either on the sofa, or in bed, and then meditate on what I want to write about for a brief moment. I then alow myself to fall fast asleep and then, when I wake up – el presto – I’m totally flooded with all kinds of useful information and ideas about the subject that I previously was thinking about before my little power nap!

    I don’t know why, or how, it works, I just know that it does!

  2. Charlotte Dixon 02/16/2010 at 15:55 #

    My motto is never question what works, just keep doing it!

  3. Melissa Donovan 02/16/2010 at 16:16 #

    Meditation can help immensely with strengthening your intuition. I’ve always relied on mine, in creative endeavors especially.

  4. Derek 02/17/2010 at 06:34 #

    Yes, as you know Charlotte, this is a fascinating subject to me and I am forever experimenting in one form or another.

    Remote viewing a character is something that I’ve never really thought about, but yes, I can see that it will work. Especially when I think of the way that we have quantum physics discovering more and more about our perceptions of life and are even making connections with the spiritual teachers’ assertions that the physical world is an illusion. Even so-called solid rocks, are not really solid at all. And fire-walkers will tell you that fire doesn’t have to burn your feet when you walk over it.

    So, in a Zen-like way, if I say that I “create” my reality, then a character I would wish to use in my writing will already exist. He is as much a part of me, as everyone else is.

    Since I have been on the Internet, that last sentence takes on an even more profound nature when I consider that there are all these wonderful people on-line that I have never physically met.. Yet you are all so real to me! Where do I get that reality? It must be myself that I am remote viewing. :-)

  5. Charlotte Dixon 02/17/2010 at 10:33 #

    Melissa, thanks for weighing in, I’m always impressed with people who regularly use their meditation and intuition for their creativity.

    Derek, I do know that this is a favorite topic of yours! I also love that in your Zen view, the characters we want to create already exist. And yes, you are very real to me, even though we’ve never met. So why should a character I’ve made up be any less real?

  6. Patty - Why Not Start Now 02/17/2010 at 23:06 #

    Hi Charlotte – I’m intrigued by this technique because it reminds me a bit of Jung’s active imagination. The characters that show up from that never fail to amaze me. And I think my intuition gets lots of action when I’m in a session with a client. Something about that context just seems to set it off and I pick up on things that neither I nor the client expected. It’s strange, though, because I’m not sure at all why or how it works. So I just try to trust it.

  7. Charlotte Dixon 02/18/2010 at 12:10 #

    Patty, I have done a little work with Jung’s active imagination, and I think this is similar. I also love when I’m writing a novel or story and a character suddenly walks onto the page. All very similar things and just proof of how deep and vast our brains are. Same with picking up tidbits about your client. The key is to stay with it, and, as you say, trust it!

  8. Angela Artemis 02/21/2010 at 05:49 #

    Hi Charlotte, this is a wonderful technique for getting in touch w/your characters and for learning to trust your intuition. I thank you, as developing intuition to use to solve problems is a subject near and dear to my heart. I find the biggest problem people have with intuition is not that they don’t receive information intuitively, but that they don’t trust their intuition when they hear it. The more you practice with intuition, like anything else, the stronger and “louder” it becomes – the more often you’ll find it pops-up and solves all sorts of problems in everyday life.

  9. Charlotte Dixon 02/21/2010 at 21:12 #

    Angela–Ah yes, the all important trust. I agree that it is so important and also learning to discern what voice to trust! It can be mystifying at first.

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