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Week 19 – Writing and the Subconscious

I sometimes write as fast as I can, as I’m doing now, to see what my subconscious will let out of the cage.

I’m sitting straight in my ergonomic office chair. My desk is cluttered with papers. I have so much I want to do as a writer. I have two novels–A Class of Leaders and Highway Sailor–that I’ve been hyping to agents, unsuccessfully, so I’m seriously thinking of self-publishing both books. I have a 3000-word piece to send to different magazines that I’m calling “Hip-Op Journal: How I Became a Normal Human Being Again After Two Hip Operations.” I have a collection of short stories to revise and put in order. I have a dozen bookstores to call to see how many copies they’ve sold of my latest book Write Now! and if they need more copies. I have plenty of things to do. What amazes me is that I’m looking forward to doing all of them.

The phone is ringing, but I’m not answering it. Most of the calls are from solicitors. That’s why Joan and I let the answering machine take the calls. If it’s someone we know, we’ll pick up the phone. But while I’m doing this speedwriting, I’m not picking up for anyone, because there have already been too many distractions for me today.

“Delay is natural to a writer. I walk around, straightening pictures on the wall, rugs on the floor–as though not until everything in the world is lined up and perfectly true could anybody reasonable expect me to set a word down on paper.” —E.B. White

Just like E.B. White, it took me from waking up this morning to 3 p.m. to start setting words down on paper.

Is it work to write without stopping? Not at all–it’s fun. I can say anything I want. I don’t have to write an essay connected to the writing process because I’m “in” the process this very moment.

So far I’ve received nearly 150 comments from people who have visited my website and have read my pieces on writing. A fair number of them have even bought my two books on writing: Write Now! and Morning Pages. I’d say that’s pretty good feedback. It’s a sign of what the Internet can do and how much people are interested in writing.

I didn’t write about the writing process today, I let my subconscious take over. It’s exhilarating to write as fast as my fingers will go. Whoever is reading this, you should try it sometime.