Friday, January 29, 2010


Friday Speak Out: Use Your Intuition to Reach Your Subconscious Mind, Guest Post by Kelly L. Stone

Use Your Intuition to Reach Your Subconscious Mind

by Kelly L. Stone

"Women’s intuition” can be a useful tool for aspiring women writers because it’s a link to your inner resources of creativity and wisdom. Intuition is your subconscious mind attempting to communicate with you and get creative material or guidance into your conscious mind. You might experience hunches, flashes of insight, or feel you should take some action. Your dreams may give you characters, plot ideas, or entire stories. Some people get a “gut” feeling. You may be guided to do something unusual. The late photographer Dorothea Lange got a gut feeling that she should turn down a deserted road in California while driving home from work one day. Even though she was exhausted, Lange yielded to her intuition and discovered a starving woman and children whose haunting photo became the face of the Great Depression.

Intuition springs from your subconscious mind, and there are several ways to connect to this part of yourself that often goes unheeded and unexplored. You can direct your subconscious mind to give you a dream solution when you find yourself in a spell of writer’s block. Keep a notebook by your bed and tell your subconscious mind before you fall asleep to allow you to dream about the next section of your story. Don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden burst of inspiration. That’s what the notebook is for.

You can also induce the hypnagogic state to get in touch with your subconscious resources. The hypnagogic state is a naturally occurring phase of sleep that is characterized by altered consciousness; some people hear their name being called, others see flashes of light. What’s important for writers is that ideas that are not normally connected are seen as associated in this state. It’s a time fertile with creativity. To access it, lie down and hold one arm straight up while you attempt to doze. The tension in your arm required to hold it up will keep you on the verge of wakefulness even as your mind slips into an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity. Again, write down in your notebook any ideas or insights that come to you.

Stream of consciousness writing is a good way to access your subconscious mind. I used it while writing my novel, Grave Secret (Mundania Press, Sept 2007). One day, after a period of several difficult writing days, the character of Billy Powers simply walked on to the page. This character was not known to my conscious mind; he sprang from my subconscious. As it turned out, he was so integral to the plot that his appearance saved the story.

Heed your intuition because it is the golden key that opens the gate to your vast subconscious mind. Your writing will thank you for it.


Kelly L Stone ( is a licensed mental health counselor and the author of three books, including TIME TO WRITE: More Than 100 Professional Writers Reveal How to Fit Writing Into Your Busy Life (Adams Media, January 2008) and THINKING WRITE: The Secret To Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media, October 2009). Her third book for writers, LIVING WRITE: Creative Strategies for Maintaining Your Enthusiasm, Motivation, and Dedication to Your Writing Goals, will be released in Fall 2010.


Do you want to reach WOW’s audience? We welcome short posts (500 words or less) from writers just like you! You can include your bio, pic, and links to your website/blog for promotion. Our only requirement is that your post be about women and writing. Send your Friday “Speak Out!” post to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration.


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Monday, October 15, 2007


Some Thoughts on the Sixth Sense: Intuition

Many of my friends, men and women of all ages, lamented at one time or another, “I wish I’d trusted my intuition. If I had, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.” It’s fascinating to think of the people who related these comments, their respective situations, and their matching conclusions. Why didn’t they listen to that “sixth sense” at the time of their brewing conflicts and situations?

What is intuition?
Intuition involves insight that develops independent of conscious reasoning; yet, it means more than following one’s instincts alone. Intuition senses the right direction for a person to follow based on past experiences and it alludes to the future. Intuition is context-based. It involves spontaneity, but not reckless leaps into the unknown. It’s as if it involves a different kind of focus and another way to perceive.

How do writers and others view intuition?
Jane Yolen wrote on her website journal, For Writers, “Someone online asked me how to use intuition. Well, intuition works best when you remember that "tuition" is part of it. You need to have paid ahead of time (i.e. done your prep work) so as to prepare the ground for intuition.”

Albert Einstein stated, “There is no logical way to the discovery of these elemental laws. There is only the way of intuition, which is helped by a feeling for the order lying behind the appearance.”

Carl Jung wrote that “Intuition (is) perception via the unconscious.”

I could have chosen a thousand more quotes. We’ve read countless definitions, quotations, and thoughts on intuition, yet they all allude to an alternate way to approach and perceive different aspects of life, people, concepts, etc.

Hindrances to intuition
Technology continues to inspire us to do more and more in our jobs, careers, avocations, and our daily lives. We’re surrounded by so many devices that we’re constantly working like robots to get everything organized in such a way that we have even more time to relax. But we don’t relax. We often use the time to accomplish even more. Our culture is moving into a strange robotic wave where we become almost obsessed with our goals and work to the point of exhaustion. How many people do you know who are “burned out” in their current jobs or roles?

Cultivating strong intuition
Intuition isn’t something we’re either born with or not; it’s a sense that we can feed and practice using if we’re interested in learning how. Of course, I’m not an expert. I never took psychology courses in college. I just observe people, events, and my own mistakes and strong suits, like many writers.

I notice that my best fictional works come from tapping into my intuitive sources, rather than sitting down, outlining, or organizing my thoughts ahead of time. Research articles and fact-based pieces require order up front, but not fiction. If we allow our subconscious minds the freedom, we can manage to work out diverse problems in our sleep or during the day. This doesn’t have to apply to fiction.

Have you ever had a problem that troubled you to no end, and yet the solution came only after you let it “rest” for a while in the back of your mind? It doesn’t matter whether you slept or went onto “other” activities and finally released the problem from your conscious mind.

Intuition serves as a guide in many parts of life, including writing. I’d love to hear from others writers on this subject. I’ve read that some writers like to take walks in nature, surround themselves with animals, and escape technology to get in touch with their intuitive side. This sounds like a logical way to get back to that sixth sense. Doesn’t it?

Meditation, I’ve read, is another way to feed one’s intuitive nature.

How often has intuition played a role in your first impression of a person upon first meeting? Was your intuition correct? How does intuition play a role in your writing? Do you let it play a role? Or do you prefer to outline, arrange, and plan out all writing works?

This isn’t my most organized blog post, and I’m not sure I’ve addressed my questions clearly. I just really want to know what others think about intuition. Thanks!


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