Automatic Writing

One minute I was tired but couldn’t sleep, the next I’d written several thousand words and by some subliminal means become convinced I needed an X5 steam cleaner, an X-Hose and an Octaspring mattress. I switched the background TV off when Victoria Principal started trying to sell me something to put on my face. She does look pretty amazing for 63 so maybe I’ll regret that later. In thirty years or so.

I don’t clearly remember what I wrote. It was another one of those sessions of switch off conscious thought and let the story write itself.  Of course it still has to use my fingers to tap out the words but when I come out of it, I feel as rested as if I’d been in a deep sleep. That makes me wonder if it is a sub-conscious thing altogether and while it goes on my conscious mind is indeed asleep. I know I killed people. I should probably hope I was here writing the whole time and not in fact in the throes of some psychotic break brought on by stress and an accidental overdose of pills. I’ll keep an eye on the local news just in case.

There was an entire sub-plot that I didn’t like which I think I completely deleted and replaced with something totally different. So I killed three minor characters there too. Well, they served no real purpose. I can remember writing their pitiful part in proceedings and remembering is never a good thing. Remembering means I had to try too hard to write it. Not remembering has its own inherent problems of course. I have a lot of reading back to do before I go on or I won’t know what’s going on in my own story. Might be pleasantly surprised or might be horrified. Although if it’s supposed to be horrific and it is, that’s a good thing, right?

The more I think about it, it has to be a sub-conscious thing. I didn’t so much as move except to type in all that time. I’m someone who always has to have a drink to hand, usually a cup of tea, and not only did I not take a sip but there was more than half a cup of stone cold lapsang souchong beside me when I stopped. Wasn’t aware of any aches and pains but it turns out my back is killing me and I didn’t notice. I was in effect not really here.

I’ve read about automatic writing as a means to contact the hereafter. To do it you must enter an altered state of consciousness. How different then is it from this? And if it isn’t any different, which of these is true: that people for hundreds of years have scribbled from their own sub-conscious believing it to be a spirit, or that I am not in fact writing this novel but am channeling the spirit of a writer?

Now I must make breakfast before my state of consciousness becomes easily defined as ‘un’.

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About julietmchugh

Fiction writer from the North East of England with a taste for the gruesome and macabre.

8 responses to “Automatic Writing”

  1. J.D.Hughes says :

    Nice post, J. Automatic writing is the result of the establishment of a conduit from the subconscious directly to the central nervous system without the censorship of the conscious mind. Hypnosis and meditation can achieve the same effect (humble opinion).

    Done automatic wrtiting myself and wrote a load of crapolata. Some might say I don’t need a conduit to write like that.

    Victoria Principal is still 28 in my subconscious, but my conscious laments the truth.

    • julietmchugh says :

      I first encountered automatic writing as a term a couple of decades ago in relation to an aspect of mediumship. Never managed to do it in that sense but a strong sense of “don’t be stupid” overrode any altered state. Meditation I can do, although these days tend to fall asleep!

      Last night’s work was definitely from some other place than, say, this comment. It takes the mood of the story to the next level in just the right place. The only qualm I have is that some other me is enjoying the writing process and I miss out!

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