As a writer, you’ve got to keep yourself inspired. Stimulated. Verbally galvanised – you pick the word. At times, however, this can be difficult, the words won’t appear and the story simply won’t emerge. It’s a common problem that writers like myself have come across. But, much like the imagination for our plots, writers and artists are very enterprising in solving these problems so that we can get back to what we really want to be doing.
One such method is the ‘Stream of Consciousness’. This is a simple thing to do when you’re struggling with actually putting words onto paper, and all it consists of is writing (or typing) the very first words that materialise in your head.The method itself is relatively straightforward, but there are a few things that I would recommend you do that can optimise the result:
- Find yourself a quiet room with no auditory distractions, you don’t want anything ruining your flow.
- Alternatively, many people agree that music can also help get those juices in your head flowing – obviously nothing too loud or upbeat (I also find lyrical songs quite obtrusive when allowing words to flow into my mind). A simple playlist of soothing, natural sounds can really introduce new stimulus that would otherwise be untouched.
- Although writing separate words down from your head can be helpful in some instances, forming actual sentences that make some degree of sense is much more useful in stimulating the mind for a plot.
- Finally – and this is less of a rule, more of a forewarning – don’t expect the things you write to be Shakespearean pieces of literary gold. A lot of the time, you will create a flood of nonsensical rubbish. However, a stream of consciousness involves the immediate thoughts in your mind, and so should be treated as such. No time should be put into the idea you create, but they represent your feelings and emotions at the time, thus should be taken into account and seen as a potential idea for a future piece. You may see a word or phrase that suddenly sparks something else in your brain, and before you know it, you’ve got a whole new plot, draft, or a new story entirely! Keep every stream and take them seriously.
I genuinely do recommend regular practice of these streams, as I have reaped its rewards many times, and I hope you can too.
To give an idea of the sort of drivel that can be produced within a stream of consciousness, I am starting a new series of posts called ‘Spark The Kindling’ where I share my own streams, and give a new angle into my writing processes. I hope I can be of help to someone.If so, please let me know, and I’d love to see some of your streams also!
Thank you for reading and have a good day.