Today we are interviewing Kelly L. Stone, author of the fabulous new Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media). First of all, I have to say thanks to Kelly for giving me the ability to take a long, hot bubble bath with a glass of Pinot Grigio and some Aretha on the ipod without feeling mom-guilt. I’m not being lazy, I’m pursuing the muse through my hypnagogic state! Now this is only one of the valuable tips you can learn from her book, gentle reader. Just a single idea like that would it worth your while – but it is chock full of ‘em!
Let’s hear from Kelly about how to use our subconscious mind to jumpstart our writing and take us to the next level:
SS: Kelly, tell us about your day-job and education, because I know that explains why you are the perfect person to write this book.
Kelly: Thank you so much for having me as a guest today! I have a master’s degree in counseling and am a licensed mental health therapist. I’ve been working in the field of psychology for 20 years.
SS: And that leads us to Thinking Write. What is the premise of the book?
Kelly: I wrote THINKING WRITE as a companion to TIME TO WRITE, a book in which I tell aspiring authors that no matter how busy they are, they can always find time to write. After I finished that book a lingering question remained in my mind about how to best use the limited writing time people have available. Everyone is so busy these days, and we all have to accommodate very limited writing periods around very busy lives.
As a licensed mental health counselor, I have an understanding of how the mind works, and I wanted to know if I could translate that knowledge of the mind into a program for writers that would help them get into a creative state of mind quickly and easily in order to make the most use of sparse writing time. The answer was yes, and that’s the premise of THINKING WRITE –ways to quickly and easily access your subconscious mind, the seat of all creativity, for writing purposes.
SS: What are these three different parts of the mind, and how do they affect our writing?
Kelly: The conscious is your every day, thinking mind. It’s the part of your mind that is reading this blog right now. The conscious mind can only attend to one thought at a time. The preconscious is the second component to mind and it’s between the conscious and subconscious. It’s where the “anti-writer™” resides. The subconscious is a vast, unlimited portion of your mind that is like a giant computer with multiple input sources. The subconscious mind’s ability to store all the details of your life, even those that escape your conscious mind’s field of attention, is what makes it such a powerful tool for writers.
SS: So the subconscious is like a huge memory-bank of ideas, sensations, and emotions just waiting for us to use it. Are there things we can do to get in touch with our subconscious mind while we write? Can you give us an example?
Kelly: THINKING WRITE is chock full of ways to get in touch with the subconscious mind, and there is a CD included that helps you practice some of the techniques. One example of how to get in touch with the subconscious mind while you write is to write to music that is 60 beats per minute, such as Baroque music. Music that is 60 beats per minute has been documented to put the mind in an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity.
SS: I mentioned it already, and I think the hypnagogic state is vital to a writer. I’ve been using it without knowing what to call it! Can you explain what it is and how we can work with it?
Kelly: The phase just before full sleep is called the hypnagogic state; it is characterized by periods of fleeting altered consciousness in which, among other things, subjects that have no relation are perceived as associated. Many writers keep paper and pen beside the bed as a way to capture this unique material.You can also hold one arm straight up while dozing, too. The tension required to keep your arm up will keep you in that state between wakefulness and sleep. When you start to drift off, roll over and write down whatever was going on in your mind at the time. It will usually be something very creative and unique.
SS: Now, in reading the book, I found out about this “Anti-writer”. Can you tell our readers what it is, and how do we avoid it?
Kelly: The anti-writer is in the preconscious, which is between the subconscious and conscious minds. It can actually thwart your goals at becoming a successful writer unless you control it. It manifests in the form of thoughts and feelings of negativity related to your abilities as a writer. One way to combat it is by keeping a notebook and writing down all negative thoughts you have about your abilities as a writer.
Write down all the ways you sabotage your own writing efforts–maybe you set aside time to write but when you get to your desk, you consistently draw a blank and don’t write anything, and never get a manuscript finished. That’s your Anti-Writer™ at work.
After you have identified patterns of your Anti-Writer™, create on index cards countering statements to your Anti-Writer™ thoughts. For example, if something you think a lot is, “I never have time to write,” a countering statement can be, “I know there is time in my day to write, and I will find it.”
SS: What is the CD that is included with Thinking Write?
Kelly: The CD is four meditations written and performed by Robert M. Stone (www.unlearnsmoking.com) (no relation to me)– Robert is an expert in subconscious mind communication. The CD has 4 guided meditations that help you learn the various techniques in the book; one is on visualizing yourself giving the perfect pitch to an editor.
SS: The book is fabulous, and I have been using some of the techniques you discuss already with my WIP. Any last thoughts about Tbinking Write to share with our readers?
Kelly: Thank you! I’m so glad it’s helping you. Some of the techniques in Thinking Write are very unique– I encourage everyone to try them all and then use the ones that resonate with you and enhance your creativity the most. There are a lot of different exercises in the book, so there’s something for everyone!
So there you have it, dear ones. Straight talk from an expert about how to get at all those wonderful resources right there in your brain. So go get her book and get started!
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tagged: antiwriter, hypnagogic state, Kelly Stone, pinot grigio, subconscious, Thinking Write, Time to Write | 5 Comments »