This wonderful series covers so many different topics, and features many literary writers. You can see some clips by clicking on the link above.
One thing all these writer’s had in common was the idea that the best writing is done without thought, by giving oneself over to the story and characters. Many of these writers are professors, yet they all said that when writing a first draft the intellect must be put aside. Otherwise you fail your muse.
Where does the muse come from? One author said that being a writer is akin to being a patient with split personality. Another said it is tales and personae that seep into us from our world.
Intuition. Do not think about your outcome, do not think about your path, let you intuition write for you. We should be surprised, surprised by ourselves and what we bring forth. One author spoke of the writer being able to reach a point of levitation – he compared it to the transcendence Buddhists experience. He said he reached this point once in writing, and hopes he can reach it again.
I rely on my intuition when writing. In the last year I have feared that I have done so on too large a degree, thinking that more of my work should be done consciously. I am learning that the intellect must take over once the intuition has laid down its foundation. Contrary, when I began writing I only believed in intuition, refusing even to edit lines that my intuition created. One author said (I am sorry I took no notes and cannot remember who said what!) that even when sitting down to begin a new piece do not think of theme or plot. Go in with a blank slate and let your muse create.
This past week I spent editing a short piece that I wrote maybe 2 or 3 years ago, not long after I began writing. I know where my muse came from for this particular story, and the story wrote itself. I recently gave it to my critique group, and now decided to go in and edit. I tried to let my intellect guide my intuition, not wanting to lose the atmosphere my subconscious had created (I could never do this on a conscious level – never – and it just amazes me.)
The end result was a crisper, cleaner, piece. But better, what my intuition had been trying to display was now even more evident.
Do you struggle with the balance of your intuition and intellect when writing and editing? Do you find you favor one more than the other?