Ever since I first learned about the unconscious (or subconscious) mind in Psychology 101, I’ve been fascinated with what the mind under the mind can do. I came away with a simple concept that has worked for my whole life. I’m sure many religious people as well as scientists would find plenty to challenge but it works for me.
Like a video camera, the unconscious mind records every single thing we experience our whole lives. We then react to the present out of a vast store of memories. Concentrating on what is going on in the moment is a good antidote for this phenomena. We can change some of our reactions. We can also learn many ways to use the unconscious, instead of being used by it. We can store good things, such as the concepts of the Bible, we can think good thoughts, and we can pray. Those are the tools God has given us to manage our lives, and they are powerful. In fact, the unconscious must obey whatever our will or mind decides. That why believing in God and the good He puts in us is so vital.
So how can we use our unconscious to help in our writing? One way we probably know is to ask the unconscious to solve problems for us. Take a shortcut, though, and ask God what to do instead. Then either forget it or continue to thank him that the answer is on the way. Eventually a solution will come and it will be simple, true, and right, as praying enhances the process a hundredfold. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
I was having a hard time writing my blogs, filling out interview questions, getting ready for speaking engagements, and even organizing my files. I’d get up in the morning meaning to work on my novel, but by the time I did everything else — including emails, the day was over. In my frustration I prayed about how to use my time more satisfactorily.
My prayer has been answered. Now, I work as much and as diligently on the blogs, organization, etc. as possible for the first few days of the week. I like it, but still I reward myself. The unconscious likes rewards it likes everything positive. For the last days of the week, I get to work on Go West. That way I can focus on one thing at a time. Once I go back to the novel, ideas clamor to be heard. Then when I switch back to business, I get more ideas that I can accommodate. I stockpile them for later when a busy season comes along.
I further compartmentalize the writing time by using my journal first thing in the morning to think things out. When I do sit down at the computer, I set my stove’s timer for thirty minutes. My chiropractor told me not to sit for more than twenty at a time, but I negotiated for thirty. He said, “Only if you walk at least a mile a day.” I do. Because I’m absorbed I’m amazed every time the timer rings. When the day ends, I can’t believe I’ve worked two hours, three, four, without boredom, pressure, or procrastination. I’m on a roll and I love it.