How To Do Automatic Writing

by Jon Rhodes on April 19, 2009 | Articles

Even the greatest creative minds experience blocks at one time or another.  The well just seems to dry up, making work tiresome, slow and difficult.  Here is a great little technique that can help ideas literally flow from your mind, almost like they are coming from somewhere else.  This technique is called automatic writing.

Automatic writing is switching off the conscious part of the mind and writing from the subconscious part.  It requires no conscious though whatsoever, indeed conscious thought only hamper the process.  You must write in a totally non judgmental, non critical way, in order to release the power of your subconscious mind.  Don’t think about the end result.  Nobody needs to see it but you–just write and flow.  Enjoy the process and accept that a load of rubbish may come out, or a little nugget of genius.  That’s all part of the fun!

Sit at a table with pen and a piece of paper.  Close your eyes and take 3 slow deep breaths, and say to yourself the word ‘relax’ on each out breath.  Now imagine a funny situation from the past.  You may have been fooling around, acting daft, or someone else might have been.  Any situation that is funny from the past.  When you have the scene in your mind, visualise it as clearly as you can, using as many of the senses as possible.  Notice how funny this feels, even now!

Now start writing, just let it flow. Don’t even look at what you are writing, just write. Write as fast as you can.  You can even draw pictures or symbols, anything goes. It may even help you to pull funny faces as you write.  It sounds daft, and it is, but it will help you no end!  If for any reason the flow stops, leave a space, take a slow deep breath, and immediately start writing again.  Don’t think about it, just let it happen.  Have fun with this.  It can be amazing what you later read!

You may find complete gibberish, but usually underneath all of this is usually a little nugget of genius, lurking.  I have often written short funny poems like this.  They may require a little ‘tidy up’, but the foundation is there.  This technique should at least help give you a starting point to your creative endeavor and starting can be the hardest thing!  If nothing else it will relax you, allowing you to get into a more ‘creative frame of mind’.

This technique is based on self hypnosis and meditation.  It works because you turn down the conscious part of the mind, allowing the more powerful subconscious part to surface.  This is the most powerful part of the brain.  It is the part where your creative genius lies.  We all have this amazing well of creative ideas deep in our subconscious minds, but most of us rarely tap into it.

The more you do exercises like this, the better you will become at tapping into these natural resources.  We all have great creative minds, but modern life does not seem to allow us to use them much, causing them to be further buried away, deeper into our subconscious minds.  Education usually conditions us to think the opposite way, to think consciously.  When we write or paint at school, we are not allowed to simply write and flow.  We have rules and criticism that weight on our minds, knocking our confidence to simply flow.  We worry that teachers and examiners won’t approve.  Unfortunately this worry continues for many into adulthood.  That is why many of is need to turn the tide, and change our mental habits.  Only then can we truly express our genius.

Most of us can very quickly use automatic writing as a platform, a foundation upon which to build a creative piece from.  However far you wish to take this is up to you.  This is a really useful technique and helps prevent ‘writers block’, and can help you reach deep into those hidden areas of your brain, and utilise that creative genius that is literally bursting to get out.  I wish you all the best in your creative endeavors!

Jon Rhodes is one of the UK's leading clinical hypno-therapists. He has worked with people suffering from severe mental health problems since 2001. He has been involved in the successful long term rehabilitation of many people, helping them to integrate back into society. He works with people suffering from such severe illnesses as schizophrenia, autism, personality disorders, and many secondary illnesses such as depression.

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