The Subconscious Mind

Ever notice how when you’re working on something intensely, you can really hit a wall?

That happened to me today. I knew what needed to happen in the next scene, but for the life of me, I couldn’t see how it should go. Usually a scene will scroll across my mind like a movie clip. I hear the sounds my characters hear, smell the scents. I can feel the uneven gait of the horse beneath my heroine. But this time, nothing would start spooling off the mental reel.

So, I shut down the computer and hit the treadmill for 20 minutes. (No, I’m still not doing so well in the weight loss department, but I am getting more exercise!) While my body huffed and puffed, my subconscious unraveled the knot of the next scene. When I was ready to assume the writing position once again, I knew exactly where to start.

When we were in college, my DH often told me he’d dream the solution for a calculus problem. I pooh-poohed the idea then. Of course, I’d pooh-pooh anything to do with calculus. Now I’m a believer. If you set your brain to figure something out, part of it continues to work on the tangle even if your conscious mind has gone on to something else.

So I’m not proposing you procrastinate when you hit a problem, but you might try taking a break and doing something totally different. Let that hidden part of you keep working on it. You may be surprised what you come up with!

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