Free Association as a Writing Technique

Tapping into the universal mind

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

The first draft is subconscious, the rewrites and editing are conscious

There are two parts of becoming a good writer. The first is the basics of vocabulary, grammar, and exposition. These are the supplies and tools you need to go on a journey. You learn them by reading, first and foremost, not by attending writing classes or buying online courses. Without them your work will not leave the stable.

Fermentation is transformative

Have you ever had Korean Kimchi? To most westerners the idea of eating something that has basically been rotting for a while is off putting. Remember, in old Korea they would layer vegetables with salt and chili in a crock, seal it, and bury it. After it had fermented for a long time it became transformed into a delicious condiment.

You will get better at this

I love my first completed novel. It showed me that I could do this thing. But now if I read it I realize I’ve moved on from that level. I think this is why so many novelists have a first novel no one has seen. By the time we get done with one we know a lot more about the process.

Sometimes you just can’t get there

Yesterday I texted a friend that I had not been able to write for three days, a long period for me. The fact that three days seemed long indicates that I’ve successfully installed a habit, which is, in itself, an accomplishment. But I’ve been doing this a long time so I’ve learned that it comes back.

Former software marketer. Former musician. Writer, nine non-fiction books, two novels, Buddhist, train lover. Amateur cook, lover of life most of the time!

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