You are perhaps that person who finds those “ghost hunter” TV shows ludicrous. You think that psychics are obviously grifters, and that “supernatural phenomena” is just another name for hogwash.
Well, you may want to suspend your disbelief for a moment while I describe an intriguing way to learn more about your writing self.
Maybe you are searching for a new and different way to write. Or maybe you find yourself in a writing rut of sorts and are in need of inspiration. If so, a little magic may be just the thing to infuse your writing with a fresh perspective.
Not to fear, there are no seances involved, and no zombies. It’s easy; anyone can do it. Well, maybe not a zombie.
First, find a quiet place to write, whether it’s in front of your computer, with your iPad on your lap, or at your desk with a pad of paper and a pen. Writers are used to finding secluded places in which to immerse themselves in their writing, so this step should be straightforward.
Second, relax and get ready to write by disengaging your brain. Yes, really. You are not going to think about writing—or about anything else— for the next twenty minutes or so. There is no writing prompt. Ignore rules about format and grammar, and clear your mind completely. Forget about the thesaurus, and about analogies and metaphors. You have one job, and that is not to think.
Third, write. Start putting words down on paper or into the blank document on your screen. Any words. All words. Words in no particular order. Verbs, adjectives, nouns, phrases, entire sentences —it doesn’t matter. You’re not thinking up these words ahead of time, and you’re not trying to write anything in particular. In fact, you are bypassing your brain completely.
It’s just possible that your fingers will be writing from some place deep inside you, some untapped well of words which needed to see the light of day. If you find yourself starting to think about what to write, stop thinking. Judgement is not allowed here: there are no bad words, and no such thing as a poorly-worded phrase. Take a deep breath and clear your mind of all thought. And then, after about twenty minutes or so, take a look at what you’ve written.
And now, the last step: you can organize your words and phrases in a way that flows, in a way which is meaningful to you. Or, if you want, just leave them in the order you wrote them. You may have written a poem, or begun a short story. And remember to keep an open mind: some part of you wanted these words to be seen. Perhaps you’ve even learned a little something about yourself, as if by — magic.