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Hypnosis for Writer’s Block

October 8, 2008

I have great interest in hypnosis and the subconscious mind. The subconscious never sleeps and this realm is a vast resource for a writer. Practicing focused meditation can be an inspiring practice and I depend on this process for deep relaxation and daily reflection.

Hypnosis is attractive to me because I am interested in thought processes and the inner workings of the mind. This interest has bridged into inspiration for writing. Sometimes I write with great energy and the language flows effortlessly, as if the piece is writing itself. This is the creative state that I want to find everyday but my inner critic prevents this from happening.

The inner critic that manifests in many forms. It can be doubt, over-analysis, obsession with grammar or a number of other blocks that inhibit the stream of words. These blocks are evident when I try to practice automatic writing.

W.B. Yeats practiced automatic writing, which requires the writer to enter the alpha state, or a self-induced hypnotic trance. The writing begins once the writer is in the trance. This involves putting pen to paper and letting the words flow without a thought about grammar, syntax or any technical elements. I have never successfully practiced automatic writing because I am far too self-conscious.

I’ve been researching and I think that self-hypnosis for writer’s block or creativity can help. I found some recordings that I might try but I’m still deciding which ones to select out of these:
Writer’s Block

I’m still wondering which one would be more beneficial.

I’m curious: Anyone using similar inspirational methods? What are your thoughts about hypnosis and creativity?

  1. October 8, 2008 9:40 am

    I find that for me, a great way to release writer’s block is to just write. I write about thoughts, about plans, about doubts and fears and it often helps me come up with ideas. There are sites dedicated to providing writing prompts but I don’t enjoy forcing myself to write on a particular subject becuase often, having to write on something specific is what can cause the block in the first place. Instead, writing about whatever enters my mind helps as does writing about what I see out the window.

    I think both of those recordings sound very interesting!

  2. October 8, 2008 6:07 pm

    I find freewriting extremely useful, as a way to ramble on the page and work out plot problems and directions.

    It also loosens up my muscles and allows me to write less restrained after that.

  3. October 9, 2008 9:32 am

    I’ve been thinking about hypnosis CDs recently, too. A friend of mine has tried the Inner Peace and Calm cd by Glenn Harrold – she found it on Amazon, and she has been very happy with the results. I think I will try one of the two you linked to – our beliefs have such a powerful effect on our lives, and hypnosis can help us change these beliefs. I, too, am intending to find again that creative flow you wrote about. I used to live that flow when I was a teenager, writing every moment I could. I’m ready to get back to that feeling now!

    I would be really interested in hearing your results if you give these cds a try.

  4. October 10, 2008 6:28 am

    This is a really interesting post Tammi. At the Byron Bay Writers Festival this year Australian Writer Sue Woolfe spoke about creativity and writers block.

    When writing her second novel she got a severe case of writers block that actually seized her writing for months. Out of this she researched the neurological bases of creativity and wrote a book about it The Mystery of the Cleaning Lady.

    She partly attributes her writers block to a battle of wills between her and one of the main characters in the novel. She was morally challenged by the behaviour of this character and after a week of trying to bend the character to her will, writing halted. She learnt through her own experiences that sometimes as writers, we have to allow the creative process to flow by writing dangerously and going to places we may find despicable or offensive or just difficult.

    Just a completely different take on creative block. I guess a mental block can be seen as a way of trying to protect ourselves from something – an early warning and protection system. It would be interesting to know what people may have been challenged by at different points when they’ve experienced writers block. What they have been afraid of? And I see hypnosis as a very effective way of moving through the block and facing up to whatever the fear is, even if you don’t actually realise that’s what you’re doing.

    thought processes really sludgy today – hope that this made some sense!

  5. October 10, 2008 6:31 am is the link to Sue Woolfe’s book on Amazon.

    And here is Sue’s quote on writing dangerously: “I try to get my students writing to the point where they can subvert their controlling instincts in order to say and define the things that they almost dare not say. When I was writing my first novel that’s what Margaret Drabble suggested I should do. Now I always pass that on to my beginner writers.

    “Very often you don’t know what that is, but if you get to a state where you almost stumble upon what the unsayable is for you, you recognise it. If you write from that position, you write with passion, energy and probably more fluency than normal, as this voice draws out metaphors that are potent and original.””

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