One of my most favourite authors is Virginia Wolf who was using a writing style called “Stream of Consciousness”. Stream of Consciousness writing in novels is the depiction of internal dialogue without any editing. The style was developed at the beginning of the 20th century and takes its inspiration from William James’s psychology. He was the first to describe “Consciousness” as a stream of experiences.
For many years I have taken part in Linda G. Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” where she gives bloggers a prompt word or words on Friday and they can create an unedited blog post about it on Saturday. These prompts in my experience tend to create surprising results which in turn can give your blogging a new direction or just inspires new blog posts. I believe that is why Linda’s “SoCS = Stream of Consciousness Saturday” has become so popular in the blogosphere.
The fact that you do not need to think about grammar or if anybody understands what you are writing can open up new wells of creativity not only for bloggers but for writers and other artists too. It is also a favourite writing exercise in schools which frees students from the block to write because they are afraid their grammar or punctuation isn’t up to scratch.
Julia Cameron uses this mechanism in her “Morning Pages” an exercise she suggests to all those who want to explore their creativity. In her opinion, writing 3 A-4 pages in the morning without editing opens creative parts in yourself up that have been lost to you due to society not supporting free expression of creativity. It is though often difficult to just start writing especially at the beginning of your journey to more creativity.
And that is where a little-known writing exercise comes in that kick-starts my creativity every time. It is called “Lean against… and listen” and I was introduced to it first when I was a part of Kirstin Lambs WANA (We are not alone) community:
I quote Kasey Mathews from the WANA group “Write to Heal” for this writing prompt:
“With paper and pen, or computer handy, lean back in your chair, or against the wall, or a sofa, etc., close your eyes and imagine you are sitting under a large tree with your back resting against the trunk. On the other side of the tree, a Storyteller has come to sit down and also rest against the tree trunk. With eyes still closed, just listen. Wait for the Storyteller to begin his or her story. When you hear it begin, simply write down all that you hear. “ (you can copy it here)
There are writers who say that they never experienced writer’s block and that writer’s block is something for amateurs. They just sit down and write. I think though it is a process to come to that attitude and the above writing exercise can help you to get there. Because you just sit down, listen and then start writing.
If I am really stuck with something this writing exercise always gets me going. A blog post comes to me, some healing is unleashed or I just create a fun story. It works every time and I highly suggest you try it out. Of course, you do not need to publish what you are writing.
I, however, will just to give you an idea how it could go:
I am sitting under a tree. It might be cypress. A cypress in a beautiful garden full of little ponds and fountains. There is lavender growing and rosemary. Its smell calms my anxious mind. A little further up stands a white house decorated with ancient columns. I can see a man coming towards me with a beautiful woman at his side. There are children and servants too who carry plates full of fruits and baked goods. I am exhausted. I try to get up but the man has reached me and says in a foreign tongue that I strangely understand: “Please be seated. I am honoured to have you as my guest. Please take these fruit and cakes as my xenium to you and feel free to stay with me until you have recovered.” I am speechless. Just bending my head with my hands put together in front of my face to honour the man’s Xenia I speak too in a foreign language: “Thank you. May Zeus always look friendly on your house and may the Gods bless your family and give you many fortunes!” The whole family starts smiling and chatting as they hear my words. The children sit beside me and try to ask me many questions. The servants bend down to offer me cakes and fruit and I do not know where to start. The woman and man sit in front of me and as tradition has it we do not ask each other’s names or what we do. We just sit and enjoy a feast in a newfound community.
Xenium according to Merriam-Webster:
: a present given among the ancient Greeks and Romans to a guest or stranger and especially to a foreign ambassador
Origin and Etymology of xenia
New Latin, from Greek, hospitality, from xenos host
This is what came to mind when I just sat down and thought about a tree to sit under and about the Love is In Da Blog 2018 prompt 25 “Xenium”. It could be the beginning of a whole new story or just stay as it is. But you can imagine what potential there is with just a few words.
So feel free to use this little-known writing exercise to kick-start your creativity and your writing. Because you are worth it ;-)!
Life in Progress: Stream of Consciousness Saturday
Philosophy is not a Luxury: William James
Julia Cameron: The Morningpages
This post takes part in “Love Is In Da Blog 2018” and answers to the prompt “Xenium”
Love Is In Da Blog 2018 prompt 26
Now that was a little bit of a challenge that last prompt. But we got there :-).
Tomorrow will a bit easier because we all yearn for something and yearning is a big part of love.
So tomorrows prompt word is
and according to the spirit of this post, it is just free Stream of Consciousness Writing!
Let’s remind ourselves of the rules/suggestions:
“Love Is In Da Blog” Rules/suggestions:
1. Join in! No matter where, when and with what. You missed the first day or week? Don’t worry. Just jump in when it suits you.
2. Send us the link! Unfortunately, my blog is now self-hosted and the ping-back option does not always work. So please leave a link in the comments on the day of the prompt that you are writing to so we can all come and visit you.
3. Tag your post either with “Love Is In Da Blog” or #LoIsInDaBl. You can also use these as hashtags for Twitter and other Social Networks to give your post more exposure.
4. No matter which medium the prompt favours you create with them whatever you please, and whatever length you please (no pun intended ) as long as it is about “LOVE.”
6. If you like, use this picture for your readers to find the posts. You can download or copy and paste it here and the prompt 26 image here.
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