When you start using your writer’s intuition, it is like another person joins your literary party.
Before I discovered my writer’s intuition it was just me and my creative muse. Now, I know this will come as a shock to most of you, but my creative muse is very much like me – bat poop crazy! This is why we get on so well and spend so much time together…in a darkened room. Once I started listening to my writer’s intuition it was like a sensible person had joined our literary party.
There are several stages to discovering the existence of your writer’s intuition and listening to it:
- Literary Euphoria. You are experiencing a powerful literary high. Your half-finished draft sounds so good it would make a literary agent’s eyes water and if a publisher read it now they would struggle to contain their excitement. As you sit back in your chair and admire your masterpiece you get a wonderful new idea. Instead of sticking with your original plot plan, maybe you could throw caution to the wind and take your story in a different direction. Yes! This would make it seriously AMAZING. A little voice, from somewhere deep inside you, tries to stop this madness, but it is sadly drowned out by a glorious trumpet fanfare. With an excited squeal you and your creative muse leap into action. All your characters are informed that things are going to change.
- Mistaken Identity. A few thousand words later and things are not looking so bright. You are not feeling yourself. Nothing you do seems to shake off this weird sensation in the pit of your stomach. It came on when you decided to completely change the direction of your novel. You put the weird sensation down to a case of ‘dodgy guts’ and ask a loved one for some stomach settlers. Having that take-away meal last night probably wasn’t wise and guzzling down all that wine didn’t help too. The weird sensation in your belly persists. You come to the conclusion it’s fibre related and start bulk buying prunes and dates.
- Denial. In a conversation with a close writer friend you explain that you have made drastic changes to your draft novel and coincidently ever since you made these sweeping changes you have been suffering with a severe case of ‘gut rot!’ Your writer friend asks whether the two incidents are related. They are most certainly NOT related. The only thing your gut is trying to tell you is that you need to eat more prunes!
- Discovery. Two thousand more words later and you start to wonder whether your gut is trying to tell you something. Gasp! Maybe that weird feeling is connected to this new direction you have taken with your draft? Cue the return of that little voice which tried to argue with you at the start of this wild goose chase. It told you that taking your story off in a different direction wasn’t a good idea and that you should have carried on with your original plan. You read through the new bits of your draft and you find yourself whispering ‘maybe you had a point!’
- Hope. The moment you decide to go back and delete the ‘new direction’ stuff the weird sensation in your gut disappears. Gasp! What a relief! This literary experience has taught you that the little voice inside you is your writer’s intuition. It is there to give you guidance and to stop you and your creative muse from going bat poop crazy! The hard bit is listening to it.
In terms of using your writers intuition here are some cool tips:
- Listen to your inner self when writing. Pay attention to strong hunches, weird sensations, not feeling right about something and on the flip side those odd literary moments where you know you are on the right lines, you can’t explain why, but you know you just have to keep going.
- Meditate. It’s tough to start doing but it does force you to be alone with your thoughts. You can’t help but listen to that little inner voice.
- Don’t make rash creative decisions. I love making rash decisions but I am starting to learn (the hard way) that my original plan was always the best policy.
- Accept that your writer’s intuition is going to be unpopular. Nine times out of ten neither you or your creative muse will like what your writer’s intuition is saying. Yes it will sound like a literary party pooper but do yourself a favour and listen to it!
Let me know whether you rate your writer’s intuition? Are you using it and more importantly do you listen to it?
Have a great day!