Intuition ... No Longer Just For Women

Happy July, everyone!

The winner of a Kindle copy of one of my novels, either In Name Only or Solomon's Compass from Friday's giveaway is ... Bish Denham!

Bish, please contact me to let me know which book you prefer and a good address to send it to.

My guest today is the lovely and amazingly talented Raquel Somatra who blogs at Tea and a Notebook. Raquel and I connected about a year ago, and I've followed her blog since Day One. She and I are different in many ways, but exactly alike in many more.

And I'm pretty sure you're going to love her post.

If you don't already follow her, the link to her blog is below, in her bio. Check it out ... AFTER you leave a comment for her here :)

And since my next blog date is Friday, July 5, I'll just be a little early with this:

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

Photo Credit


Intuitive Writing
by Raquel Somatra

There are probably loads of definitions of human intuition, but my favorite is this: when the body knows something before the brain does. Most of us have had moments of intuitive foreknowledge sometime in our lives: that hunch that led you to choosing the less trafficked route to work, or that churn in your stomach when you met someone who later caused you harm. What many writers don’t realize is intuition can also be utilized in their work. Here are some ways you can open your writing to your “sixth sense”:

1. Be open to synchronicity.

Synchronicity is about finding meaningful connections in seemingly unrelated events. Let’s suppose you’re working on a plot point and you have no idea where an event should happen within the story. During the day, you turn on the television and see a commercial for a Celtic music album. Then someone mentions a recent trip to Ireland. Finally, you walk into a bookstore and open a travel book to a random page that contains a photo of Dublin. These are all signs strung together by synchronicity that you can use to direct you in your story. In the case of this example, I created a fantasy abode inspired by the coastlines of Ireland for my manuscript and it worked out beautifully with the story.

2. Record your dreams. 

Body wisdom is the realm of the subconscious, and this is why intuitive messages often come through the dream state. What I find helpful is asking the subconscious for direction before sleeping. The dream itself may point you toward a subject you haven’t researched yet, which may lead you to your answer. Sometimes I’ve awakened with the answer to my question already in my mind! Don’t get discouraged if you can’t remember your dreams or they seem too nonsensical. I’ve found answers most often come through when I’m relaxed and having fun with these techniques.

3. Try stream-of-consciousness writing.

This is especially helpful when stumbling through a period of writers’ block. Sit down with a pen and paper and just go. Don’t think about what you’re writing or how bad it is. Just write. From this exercise, I’ve had amazing bits of dialogue leap onto the page as well as characters who seem to just have created themselves appear. Stream-of-consciousness writing is like opening a door to the subconscious without sleep.

It’s important to remember that nothing is set in stone. Even if the clouds broke open and light shown down upon a name drawn into the sand at your feet, if that name doesn't work with your character, it’s perfectly okay to let it go or save it for later.

The best part about intuitive writing is in utilizing it, you invite a sense of magic in your creative work.

Do you have a cool story about intuition, either with writing or anything else? Do share in the comments. I’d love to read about it.



Raquel Somatra is a painter and writer. She loves trees, mining for gemstones, and used bookstores. 

She blogs at 
“Tea and a Notebook”.









Comments

I'd record my dreams if I remembered any of them. I have solved writing issues through synchronicity though.
I love the idea of being more open to different story directions by following intuition. Great tips here!
L. Diane Wolfe said…
Most of my fiction ideas have come from dreams. I try to write them down quickly before the essence of the dream leaves me.
Raquel Somatra said…
Alex-- There are a number of guides that can help you remember your dreams. A couple tips that spring to mind now are setting your alarm clock a little early or drinking lots of water before bed. Not good ideas for getting a full night's rest, but the idea is you might wake up and catch yourself in the middle of some REM sleep. Good luck should you decide to try to catch your dreams.

Elizabeth-- Thank you. :) I'm glad you like them.

L. Diane-- I love when I hear about writers getting ideas from dreams!
Carol Kilgore said…
Welcome to the Tiki Hut, Raquel! I love this post, and I'm happy to have you here.

I just wanted to say that part of the SOLOMON'S COMPASS story is based on a dream.
Raquel Somatra said…
Thank you so much for hosting me, Carol. I adore that some of SOLOMON'S COMPASS is from a dream! I've always studied dreams, since I was a child, partly due to the fact that we still don't know why they occur. I feel like stories inspired by dreams share some of dreams' innate mysteriousness. :)
colourcottage said…
This quote from Rumi came to mind:

"The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep."


I often wake up at night, often the same time, and can't fall asleep again for hours. Not because I'm rested enough, but I sometimes wonder if I should try meditating, writing for an hour or something. I usually don't because the house is cold, but that could be fixed.
Raquel Somatra said…
Oh Pia, that is just lovely. Rumi has been a favorite of mine since high school, and I've never seen that snippet before. What a treat!

What I've found to be helpful when I wake at night and can't get back to sleep is to do a laying-down visualization/meditation. There are a good ones available for free at fragrantheart.com-- you might want to have a listen to one or two during the day and try recreating it in your mind during those restless nights. "Releasing Muscular Tension" and "Deep Relaxation" are both good ones, but they're all good, really. If you try it, I hope it helps, or that it leads you to something that helps.

Thank you again for sharing that quotation.
L.G. Smith said…
I had the most amazing moment of synchronicity/serendipity this weekend while researching some little thing in my novel. I just wanted to check a fact on something, and wound up stepping into a pile of awesome coincidence relating to my novel. LOVE when that happens. :)

Oh, and, Carol, this post did not load in my sidebar today. Don't know what's up. A blogger glitch I suppose?
Jan Christensen said…
Raquel, this is a fascinating post. I had one vivid experience with intuition when I went on a job interview and left with a bad feeling in my stomach. I took the job anyway, and within a few months was searching for another one. It had not been a good decision, and I should have "listened to my gut." Then this morning I awoke and remembered a whole, rather long dream. I rarely remember my dreams. After reading your essay, I figure I should do something with this in my writing. Thanks for your interesting take on intuition.
Pay attention to that intuition. It's telling you a lot. Congrats to Bish on winning.
Gwen Gardner said…
I love noticing synchronicity! When it happens, I pay attention. But like you said, if it doesn't make sense, don't worry about it.

Hey, I'm coming over to follow you! I love this kind of stuff.

Hi Carol!
M Pax said…
Synchronicity and flow of consciousness are often useful to me. Nice to meet you, Raquel.

Waving at Carol.
Julie Flanders said…
Many of my main ideas have come from dreams. I never thought about synchronicity but I realize now that I've come up with ideas that way too. Love this kind of stuff! It's nice to meet you, Raquel. :)

Happy 4th to you too, Carol!
David Oliver said…
It had never occurred to me to write something based on a dream I've had. I will try but I've never written a horror tale before.

Oh I'm joking. I almost never have nightmares but I am serious about dreams and writing about/based or ideas from them. Thanks!
Johanna Garth said…
Happy 4th Carol!

Nice to meet you Raquel. Love the idea of finding synchronicity in everyday events.
Carol Kilgore said…
Hi, everybody! Waving back :)

Luanne, I just visited your blog and see the Tiki Hut with the flag photo in your sidebar. Knocking wood it was just a glitch.
Liza said…
Love this post. I do think we can train ourselves to "listen" to our subconscious more and to open up to the synchronicity around us. That half awake, half asleep not quite dream state is a powerful place for me.
Raquel Somatra said…
L.G.-- Love it when that happens, too! It's amazing how one series of coincidences will lead to another, then another...

Jan-- So much of what we learn from our intuition is in hindsight. There have been countless times when I've looked at a bad situation in my life and found a decision I'd made early on that was against that gut feeling. I'm glad to hear about your dream! I hope it becomes helpful in your writing. :)

CleeMcKenzie-- Indeed!

Gwen-- Thanks for the follow! And yes, it's not good to over-analyze coincidences, especially if they're not clicking together harmoniously from the get-go. I like what you said: if it doesn't make sense, don't worry about it. :)

M Pax-- And nice to meet you, too!

Julie-- Same to you, Julie. Wonderful that you've been using dreams and synchronicity, too.

David-- Haha, funny :) I hope you do try writing from dreams. It can make the creative process quite exciting.

Johanna-- Nice to meet you, as well. And thank you. :)

Carol-- Knocking on wood, too!
Raquel Somatra said…
Liza-- I totally agree! And that 'tween state of wake and sleep is incredible. I've found similar states during meditation. Very powerful, indeed.
YVONNE LEWIS: said…
Great post and congrats to the winner of the book.
Yes, to all of you American's Happy Independence Day,It's also a special day for me 15yrs ago on July 4th I became a grandmother for the first time. so drinks all round!!!!!!

Yvonne.
Lovely to meet you Racquel. And synchronicity and her cousin serendipity are good friends of mine.
I love the first suggestion. :D
sarah said…
Great post Raquel. I'm all about intuitive writing, and I enjoyed what you shared here. Some great tips!
Christine Rains said…
Wonderful post. I always remember my dreams, and they inspire me with my writing.
Melissa said…
I enjoyed this post, especially the stream of consciousness writing. It's amazing how many things just pop into our heads when we least expect it. :)
Helena said…
I've found a few times that when I suddenly feel very depressed I'm about to do something I shouldn't. Once I also had a near panic attack about starting a new job and talked myself back to tranquility; turns out my new boss would be a whack job and I would quit in a few months.
Synchronicity-I need to be watchful for that. And I never remember my dreams :) Great post!
OH! Congratulations to Bish!!!
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Raquel,
We're big on dreams here, but I don't write them down. Must try that for my writing.

Many use their dreams to guide them in buying the lotto. Strange, I know.
Laura Eno said…
Great suggestions, Raquel! Many of my ideas come from dreams.
Jo-Anne Meadows said…
I never remember my dreams......ok that is wrong something I do remember them but not very often
Lynda R Young said…
congrats to Bish!
You intuitive writing tips help to come up with ideas you wouldn't normally have. Gotta love that!
Raquel Somatra said…
Thank you so much, everyone, for your comments. I'll be able to respond to each one later today, as I am travelling across the country! Hope everyone's day is going beautifully.
michelle said…
Nice to meet you Raquel!
Stream-of-consciousness writing is the same as the free-writing technique, which can yield amazing and unexpected results...
Hi Carol. *waving*
Rula Sinara said…
Such a cool post! I have a strong sense of intuition and notice synchronicity a lot in my life. I've even had premonition dreams (kind of freaky), but I've never applied it all to my writing...at least not consciously. You've given me something to think about!
Medeia Sharif said…
Congrats to Bish.

Sometimes I forget to write my dreams down even though I mean to.

I'm open to synchronicity.
Raquel Somatra said…
Yvonne-- Yay! Congrats on the anniversary of grandmotherhood. :)

Elephant's Child-- Same to you! :) Glad to hear you all are good friends.

Stine-- Thank you :)

Sarah-- Thank you, Sarah. It means a lot to hear this from you.

Christine-- Love that! I hope they continue to help!

Melissa-- Yes, it is amazing, isn't it?

Helena-- Yes, those are perfect examples of intuition. You're so lucky to have the wisdom to recognize and listen to it!

The Words Crafter-- Thank you :)

J.L.-- I've heard of the lotto thing before-- in fact, I once dreamed lotto numbers, myself (alas, did not win).

Laura-- thank you, and that's wonderful to hear about your ideas.

Jo-Anne-- You're lucky you're able to remember some of them. I know many people who remember none at all!

Lynda-- Indeed! :)

Michelle- Nice to meet you, too! I have not heard of term "free writing technique", but it sounds about right for the process. Amazing and unexpected results indeed.

Rula-- Awesome to hear about your intuition! I'm right there with you on premonition dreams... it definitely can be freaky. :)

Medeia-- Being open is the first step. :)
I had a professor once who said he always slept with a notepad next to his bed so that he could immediately write down the details of his dreams when he awoke so as to remember them. I always thought that was such a neat idea.
Linda G. said…
I rely on my intuition for my writing--my subconscious is a better plotter than I am.
LD Masterson said…
I'd love to use my dreams. I often awake with the thought that I just had a really interesting dream but when I try to recall it, the whole thing poofs.
Stephen Tremp said…
I had a strange dream of a.childhood.friend showing up at my front door wearing a dress. I better not use that in a storry as he might punch me in the face.
Interesting concepts! Thanks.

I used to have very vivid dreams, so much so that I can still remember portions of them fifty years later. Now, not so much. I only capture bits and pieces of them, but maybe I should try to be more mindful of them.
Editors At Work said…
Congratulations to Bish!

All great tips here. Raquel mines for gemstones?

Thanks Carol for a great interview and guest post!

Nas
Lexa Cain said…
Raquel makes really good points. I'm a total fan of synchronicity. However, I don't write my dreams down because they're so much less interesting in the light of day than when I'm dreaming them! lol
Raquel Somatra said…
Optimistic Existentialist-- great name, firstly. And yes, that's a great tip, to have a notebook & paper by your bed so you can jot down your dream when you have them. I've done this before, and it's been incredibly helpful when I can actually decipher what I'd written in the dark and half asleep!

Linda-- Ooh, yes, my subconscious is, as well.

LD-- Sorry to hear about your disappearing dreams! I hope you remember them soon.

Stephen-- Ha! Well, you can use elements of dreams, too, to avoid any awkward situations with real people. :)

Susan-- Thank you, too! And I think that being more mindful of them can definitely open you up to remembering them. I hope those full dreams come back to you soon.

Nas-- Oh yes. I love mining for gemstones (my most recent degree is in jewelry design!). There are public mining facilities all over the US if you're interested in trying it out!

Lexa-- Oh, that happens to me, too. Sometimes I think I have hilarious dreams-- ones I wake up laughing from-- and when I repeat it to my husband, I have no idea what I found so funny.

Donna Hole said…
I get lots of de ja vu moments, but I rarely remember my dreams long enough to record them. Except the terror filled ones. I guess I'm just a zombie writer, lol.

........dhole
Shelley Munro said…
I never remember my dreams (except the odd nightmare) but I do get the odd de ja vu moment.
Raquel Somatra said…
Donna-- I love deja vu moments. I've always seen them as a sign I'm on the right tract.

Shelley-- I once read that nightmares are just unfinished dreams. I believe that it's true. Nightmares, for me, have been worth dissecting whenever they happen.
Carol Kilgore said…
Hope all of you had a happy and safe July 4 holiday.

Raquel, thanks for a great post and for sharing it with readers at the Tiki Hut. I hope you had fun!
Tina said…
Those are some really cool ideas. I dream very vividly, and if I write them down right away, I usually remember. Since I write sci-fi, I keep a couple of thorny issues on the back burner and they usually resolve themselves and let me know.
Tina @ Life is Good
Raquel Somatra said…
Thank you so much for hosting me, Carol. It's been wonderful. :)
Raquel Somatra said…
Love sci-fi! And that's awesome about your vivid dreams and how those issues work themselves out somehow. I've found that there can be an ease with using intuition in writing, especially during normally frustrating points.