Thursday, June 13, 2013

Trust Your Creative Subconscious

I am coming off an intense period of juggling editing clients, private students, freelance clients, writing and directing a play, writing three drafts of a book and its series proposal in six weeks, sending out two proposals for two challenging but worthwhile play commissions, and turning around a for-hire book proposal and sample chapter in three days.  I had to step up to all of these opportunities.  They all offer wonderful possibilities, albeit in very different directions.

But I’m tired.  I still have plenty of work on my desk, but I’m not feeling all that creative right now.

So I’m trusting my unconscious to lead the way.

It started when I was in NY a few weeks ago, for BEA.  I accepted an invitation to a preview viewing for an art sale at a major auction house.  I loved it -- it was top-quality work curated beautifully with an intelligent and pleasant staff.  I was able to gorge myself on art at the Metropolitan Museum -- a place that, when I lived in NY, I visited regularly, but have not been able to visit since I left.

I came out with seeds of ideas for stories.  They’re percolating, but I can feel creation sprouting inside, and when they’re ready to come forward, I’ll be ready to write them down.

I picked up a book on the Yaddo Art Colony on a whim at a local library; by the time it was returned, I’d outlined the first book of a possible series.  I’m drawn to Venetian panting right now -- I’m not sure where that will lead, but on breaks from the contracted work, I pick up one of the Venetian tomes I’m accumulating and letting my subconscious  take charge.

So much of our creative lives is dictated by deadlines and others’ demands --especially when THIS is the way we earn our living, and we are the sole breadwinner, by pen and computer keys.  Having the opportunity to follow creative threads without any demands is a wonderful way to refill the well.  I don’t know where these threads will lead.  Some of them might percolate for years.  But I trust that what I’m drawn to has a reason. 

It’s happened effectively too often for me to doubt.

Now, if I could only find a local pottery class that would let me do slab work . . .

--Annabel Aidan is a full-time writer publishing under a half a dozen names in both fiction and non-fiction.  Her paranormal romantic suspense novel for Champagne is ASSUMPTION OF RIGHT, combining witchcraft, theatre, and politics.  Website:


Big Mike said...

If I had to leave on my writing projects the family would starve. Way to go if you're doing it successfully.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I hear you on the museum. We use to live in Doylestown, PA, just an hour's drive from NYC. My parents shopped in person for fabrics at Thorps and other wholesale fabric houses. They were interior designers. I'd spend hours at the museum or at Radio City Music Hall.

The museum seems a great place to refill one's waning imagination.