Stream of Consciousness Writing
“You dip your toes in this unbreakable stream of consciousness until creativity gets its teeth in you and pulls you to its depths.”
~ Curtis Tyrone Jones
Your left brain will not write if it thinks you have nothing to write about. But, your right brain is an endless fountain of creative ideas. If you do not force yourself to string together logical sentences, it is fun and enlightening to see what comes out.
Stream of consciousness writing can speak startling truths and illuminate the deeper beliefs that cause anxiety and depression. Essentially, stream-of-consciousness writing involves writing down anything that pops into your mind. Absolutely anything. No logical narrative is needed!
Consider that your left logical brain helps you with: logic, sequencing, linear thinking, mathematics, recording facts, and thinking in words that make reasonable sense.
Your right creative brain supports you to imagine, think intuitively and holistically, and create art and music and poetry. Your right brain is emotional, and it loves to daydream. So when you write from your right brain, you can just daydream and write down anything that arises.
A wonderful way to watch how your right brain thinks is to practice free-form stream of consciousness writing. Even just 10 minutes or one page of stream of consciousness writing a day can vastly enlighten your life.
To begin, relax your body and close your eyes. Empty your mind and place your attention within. Simply wait. As your thoughts come into your head, open your eyes and write them down without worrying about whether they make sense. Paint a picture with your words! Write gobbledygook if you want!
Do not censor. No thought is irrelevant. You can choose to write fast to avoid overthinking. Or, you can choose to write very slowly, allowing each thought to arrive from the depths of your creative unconscious.
Stream of Consciousness Writing Tips
Writer Natalie Goldberg shares how to start a spontaneous writing practice:
1.) Lose Control. Say what you want to say. Do not worry if it is polite, correct, or appropriate.
2.) Be specific. Don't muddy your language with generalities.
3.) Don't think. Write down your first thoughts. Go with what first flashes into your mind.
4.) Anything goes. Don't worry about punctuation, spelling and grammar.
6. Be free. Feel free to write the worst junk.
7.) Go for the jugular. Write about what is scary. That is where the energy is. Otherwise, you will spend all of your time writing around what makes you nervous.
Processing Your Writing Sessions
Here are two good ways to more process your stream of consciousness writing sessions:
Read immediately. To connect auditorily to your stream of consciousness self-expression, it is integrative to read your writing out loud right after a writing session.
Read when your journal is finished. To find themes, read through your stream of consciousness writing after your journal is complete. Go through the entire journal, and circle and underline common themes with colourful pens.
My Right-Brain Writing Process
I love to write one page of free-form writing. I then circle or underline the phrases that intrigue me. After that, I create an emotional poem from what stands out the strongest in my free-write.
When I write from my right creative brain, I find my sentences look different. Non-logical, colourful, poetic and even musical in nature! Dancing words!
What freedom it is to give myself permission to honestly just say anything!