The Subconscious as a Collaborator

How do you come up with your book titles?  Asked this recently, my answer came quickly: At some point I just know what the title is. Which means I’ve been working on it subconsciously. Which makes me realize how essential my subconscious is to the writing process:

  • Stuck? Set it aside and come back to it tomorrow. Usually when I wake up I know what to do — my subconscious figured it out.
  • Sudden discovery, typically while brushing teeth or gardening, of a plot twist that ramps up the tension and surprise? Thank you subconscious, you are always on the job.
  • Realization, as the book nears completion, that details have coalesced into a united theme? My subconscious knew from the beginning what this book was about; the conscious mind is always the last to know.

My principle motivation to write is a desire to connect with other people, but a secondary motivation is to connect with myself and see what will next emerge.

As I write this I find it difficult to say “I figured it out subconsciously” rather than “my subconscious figured it out”.  It doesn’t disturb me to feel that I contain these separate entities.  Should it? 


4 thoughts on “The Subconscious as a Collaborator

  1. For me, concepts and feelings float about in the spiritual world, and we’re blessedly blind to them in our waking lives, so that we can be independent and get on with things. Not so in dream time and meditation, where we can participate in that maelstrom a little less guardedly.

    You remember “bozone”? That layer of insulation around thick people which stops good ideas from getting through. A bit like that.


  2. I am much more likely to brag about my subconscious than about myself. It feels cool and mysterious and a little dangerous (in a good way- not like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute dangerous, more like watching two people fight while standing in the shadows dangerous) to possess the power of the subconscious. Sometimes, I just know things. No idea how I know, or exactly when I knew, but the answer is delivered on a silver platter to my brain-er- conscious mind.


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