Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Write In Your Sleep

There is something beyond our mind which abides in silence within our mind. It is the supreme mystery beyond thought. Let one's mind rest on that and not rest on anything else.

-Maitvi Upanishad

I suggest we can write without use of a pen during our sleeping hours, provided we can tune in to a greater reality.

I first became familiar with Random Access Memory (RAM) and Rapid Eye movement memory (REM) when I managed a string of mattress stores and attended sleep shop seminars and conventions.

The study of sleep is a fascinating science, leading to a better understanding of how we can maintain better health through better sleep and to take it a step furhter, we can obtain a higher level of meditation and at the end of the day, we become better writers (even if we use hackneyed phrases as I just did).

Psychiatrist, psychologist and a wide variety of professionals were consulted over many arduous hours of experimentation to arrive at worthy results I am about to share with you, without hooking you up to machines to monitor your brain waves and vital signs. Assuming your mind is at least as stable as my own (probably better), I think you, too, will have favorable results.

Of course, the seminars were designed to allow mattress manufacturers to make commercial claims and manipulate a body of research to sell beds, however, I will provide you the jist of the research pertinent to good sleep, improved meditation techniques and better writing.

1) Acquisition-refers to the introduction of new information into the brain.
2) Consolidation-represents the process by which a memory becomes stable.
3) Recall-refers to the ability to access the information (whether
conciously or unconciously) after it has been stored.

Almost anything you are struggling with in your writing can be often resolved during sleep, provided the problem is known to you. For example, if you can identify the problem in your concious mind, you will be open to the process of Acquisition, step one above.

Here's how it works. Before calling it a night, write out the challenge, longhand. Maybe there is a problem with the story you are currently working on. Maybe the story is not paced properly. Is it moving too fast or too slow? Perhaps, a piece of dialog isn't working out. Maybe you aren't sure you should keep a particular scene or eliminate it.

Write it down.

Don't try to figure it out - that's the job of the unconcious mind.
Have a hot cup of tea. Read aloud what you have written and take a deep breath. Now, forget what you have written.

Pick up a favorite novel and read yourself asleep, but remember this: Don't move when you wake up. Sy it aloud, "I will not move when I wake up in the morning. I will remember the solution from my dream."

I am not ashamed of this exercise. On the other hand, of course, my family is accustom to my behavior and would be concerned if I were not running a high temperature and talking to myself. If your family members are equally understanding, then try this exercise.

Where were we? Oh, Write down the solution as soon as you get it.

It's that simple.

I alluded earlier to the two forms of sleep, REM and RAM. This research dates back to Homer. People often wake around midnight before succumbing to the second sleep. In The Haunted Mind, Nathaniel Hawthorne referred this sleep as "The Watch." He commented on this middle of the night conciousness as follows:

If you could choose an hour of wakefulness out of the whole night, it would be this. Since your sober bed time, at eleven, you have had rest enough to take the pressure off yesterday's have found an intermediate space, where the business of life does not intrude; where the passing moment lingers, and becomes truly present; a spot where Father Time, when he thinks nobody is watching, sits down by the wayside to take a breath.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Explore Your Dreams

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset.
-Rabindranath Tagore

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.
-Joyce A. Meyer

A rich source of new material is within us,trying to be born. Come along with me for a moment to explore this gold mine of creativity and transcendence.

In the words of my beloved nephew, Derek Irving, "Life is constantly speaking to us."

Dreams offer a a most sincere revelation, a database of knowledge pertinent to our lives and beyond. There are hidden messages in dreams, and with just a little specific knowledge we can begin to explore a rich exciting world of the unknown.

Dreams are to the individual what myths are to civilization. A world of symbols expressing a spiritual underlying reality, not an aspect of reality, but a reality more prominent than the literal truths we so embrace.

For example, Buddhist explore the knowledge of nyo ze factors which include, influence, power, latent reality and manifest reality. (I'm not Buddhist, but I'm making a point). Now, bear with me. We have become more rational and intellectual through the developments of science but I humbly submit we have lost something in the process. We have become rich in knowledge and poor in wisdom. Science surrounds that which is manifested or understood. If you are not yet published, you are yet, a writer. Your talents are neither latent or made manifest to the world. The space between the two realites is the center of our power, governed only by the individual. Our best writing happens at this point. A deeper truth resides in the dimension we dismiss as illusion, fantasy or a distorted dream.

So it is with all dreams. Extroverted thinking in the conscious world tells us about events, history, people and politics, but the intuitive self opens us up to universal forces that underlie our existence in time and space. Our dreams have little to do with us as we know our conscious selves, the lower self. Our dreams tend to relate to the the universal history of humanity, that interdepent connection that binds us, that intuitive intelligence that realizes we are all sisters and brothers.

Its not necessary that you or your character actually interpet the dream, but the act of pondering the dream reveals character. All that matters is what we felt in the dream. The dream is a way to color the emotion. Dreams are usually profound and larger than life. If we can tap into the feelings of the character in the dream and develop a sense( not an interpretation)of its symbols, we may discover a resourceful system that has enshrined wisdom in every time and culutre.

What lies latent in your character's subsconcious

Friday, October 21, 2011

Devour the Scene

I absolutely love Joyce Myer. Here's a quote from her.

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.
-Joyce A. Myer

Write wherever you are. Whether you are in a park, on a boat or at the golf course. Stop for a moment and absorb the scene. Do not try to make sense of the piece. Simply write notes, using key words to describe what you see. Later, you will recall details from the same scene to invigorate your imagination.

In a park scene for instance, you might note the following. Trees. Mostly oaks. Scattered pines. Box hedges at the far side. Children kicking soccer balls. Screams. Birds chirping. Crowded parking lot. First day of Fall.

You get the point. Scenery gives us the effect of the actual motif.

You might want to extend this exercise. For example, what kind of birds are in the park? What is the state bird...the state insect? What types of trees are indigent to your area?

Is there a pond nearby? Tell me about the ducks. Are children trying to catch them? Let's explore the smell of leaves, freshly cut grass. Let me feel moisture from the pond or hear an occasional duck flapping its wings.