When his friends rip him for what they perceive to be an unusually lax job, an egghead professor friend of mine likes to joke that “The life of the mind is 24/7.”
A very successful writing friend of mine once told me that “if you don’t think about your current writing project when you first wake up, something’s wrong.” I’m fascinated by the subconscious which I think of as the nearly continuous internal dialogue I have with myself.
Sometimes I can write a medium-long, (hopefully) substantive blog post in 20 minutes only because subconsciously, I’ve been sporadically working on it for days in my mind. Sometimes even, while asleep.
In one first year writing conference a student of mine described her pre-writing process on one paper this way, “I talked about the prompt a lot while driving around with my friends and then my dad and I really got into it.” For which she received historic levels of extra credit.
Of what does your internal dialogue consist? Are there patterns or themes? What shapes your subconscious? For me, it’s a combination of things I read, watch, and listen to; reflections on interactions with people past and present; and then staring at the Cooper Point coastline of the Salish Sea while nursing my morning latte.
If your subconscious has atrophied as a result of not exercising it enough, maybe you should give this a go.