Don’t Listen to Your Brain; Listen to Your Stomach

Are you a conscious writer? Who planes out every word, every action and every dialogue before you start writing your story? I cannot do this. To lose the exploratory aspect of writing and surprise myself along the way.

But how can that be? How can one write without thinking? What force is it that makes us write and do something without thinking of what we are doing?

Don’t get me wrong, when the decision has already been made or the first draft has already been written, then it is time to consult your brain. But even then, only to a certain extent…

Whenever we do anything, whenever we carefully consider the implications of our actions and try to find the most efficient and logical solution to a problem, we hesitate. Because we know that it is entirely possible that the decision you are about to make will bring the worst possible outcome when unforeseen circumstances are at play. Simply put, you hesitate when you think, you start to doubt your actions and your own words.

But then there is this other force that does things for you without having to think about it. But the question is: can you trust it? Is our first instinct always right?

I would say yes; unless you have mental issues that is. If so, please, for the love of god, do the opposite of what you’re thinking!

… In any case, I, and many people call this the gut feeling, to trust your stomach rather than your brain. For in your brain, you harbour doubt, and there is no doubt in your stomach because it cannot comprehend such a concept. And if you allow it to guide you, it will make sure that you always make the right decision, always writes the most perfect “concept” of a sentence.

I say “concept of a sentence” because, like it or not, you will always need the brain to steer your fingers and your brain will never fully comprehend the powers of the gut, at least not right away. Hence, it will take many tries before you can fully express the idea that came to you, especially if you want others to share in your awesomeness.

I highly recommend that you read this article by Charlotte Seager if you want to learn more about conscious and sub-conscious writing.

Also, if you want to learn my thoughts about the most important ingredient in short stories, please read my article here

3 Comments on “Don’t Listen to Your Brain; Listen to Your Stomach

  1. Absolutely. In the generative phase, it’s all about following that first instinct. Save refinements for revision! And speaking of mental issues, I think it helps to develop sort of a dual personality in that respect. When I’m writing, I have to trick myself in every possible way to get my subconscious to come out and play. And then when I’m revising, I have to trick myself in every possible way into believing that I’m editing something I didn’t write.

    Thanks for this! I’ll be checking in on your work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, interesting technique… I never thought about it like that. It is true, though, that you have another mind set when you edit, which sometimes can greatly change the plot of the story. I don’t remember where I read this, but somebody said that you become a composer when you edit; you try to make the sentences flow well and sound well coming out of your mouth, which I find to be really true. I’ll dig around your stuff too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Truth be told, in my daily writings I’m also practicing that part (the musicality) being second nature. I do think that line level editing probably diminishes with experience, while global, story arch editing (and adding things on the line level that strengthen existing metaphors and all that) are more permanent fixtures of writerdom. To be sure, we’re in it for the long haul and it ain’t never gonna be easy. And we probably wouldn’t do it if it was.

        Liked by 1 person

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