Sharpen Your Instinct and Intuition

A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it … For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.

Ernest Hemingway

Advice from Hemingway on Writing

When it comes to expressing inner values and establishing a personal perspective on a story, writers are often guided only by their instinct or intuition and a little luck.

Instinct and intuition are essential for getting to the more meaningful, authentic aspects of a story.

The starting point for any artistic creation is always at the level of intuition, because its where new ideas are conceived. New ideas seldom rise to the level of consciousness fully formed. They often begin as:

  • A jumble of thoughts from the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind.
  • Impressions from exploration and seeing the world from a writer’s perspective.
  • Images from recollections

This melting pot of inspiration can be confusing and contradictory as they are both inspiring and compelling.

No matter how much you love writing, there will always be days when you need inspiration from one muse or another. Inspiration is not just a desirable thing, it’s an integral part of the writing process. Every writer needs to find inspiration in order to produce inspired writing.

All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation. An important element of writing is transference. Your job isn’t to write words on the page, but rather to transfer the ideas inside your head into the heads of your readers. Words are just the medium through which the transfer happens.

Stephen King

Advice from Stephen King On Writing

The method for getting to the emotional heart of a story is not a secret. All writers have a well of valuable feelings and insights; it’s just a question of knowing how to tap into them.

You don’t have to suffer for the sake of art. You must live for it. Living includes suffering as well as disappointments, disillusionments and rejection, but also includes happiness, enlightenment and even contentment.

Every story you tell is ultimately your own story. It doesn’t have to reflect the direct autobiographical chronology of your life, but it will always reflect what you know to be true.

The writing experience is a journey that will take you someplace new; you will inevitably see where you are with new eyes and fresh insight.

The true destination of all stories takes us to a place that lies outside what we know about ourselves and introduces us to a new piece of personal knowledge that enhances our:

  • Connection with ourselves.
  • Connection to nature.
  • Connection to the divine.

Stories can transform our painful and even blissful life into a higher consciousness.

Ultimately, your story should offer a new consciousness, illuminating insight and fresh perspectives

Your story should never recycle worn-out clichés and tell us what we have already seen or heard, or underestimate and marginalize the true heroic quest for truth.

If you know your story and know yourself your writing will not be dull and lead to success. If you know yourself and don’t express that knowledge in your story, your writing will fail creatively.

If you refuse to look inward to know either yourself or your story, nothing of any value will ever come of your efforts.

Writing is constant struggle to get to the new, undiscovered place and will always remain a mystery. You must discover your own unique process; you must find a way inside your own story.

You must become an emotional archaeologist

You need to learn that it’s more about the journey than the destination. There’s a difference between doing and being. You keep writing not necessarily to sell it, but because that’s who you are.

Kris Young, UCLA

Real action versus real emotion

Without real emotion we simply don’t care.

We may feel momentary excitement, terror, horror and even awe, but those emotions are relatively superficial and transitory.

There is no feeling, no deeper connection because no authentic view of the writer’s humanity has surfaced during the telling of the story.

You may have a clever plot that is masterfully structured and filled with complex twists and complications, but if there is no connection between the external activity and the internal life of the characters the story will be dull and boring, and ultimately fail.

As a writer you need to have a strategy or technique for developing the physical or external plotline of a story, as well as a rich inner life that will illuminate the mindscape of the characters.

Take The Write Journey and sharpen your instinct and intuition