The Stream of Consciousness Technique

Writing is generally rewarding, but sometimes, the well is dry. All writers know the feeling. Glaring at a blank page or screen while your brain teases you with one-second flashes of ideas that won’t amount to more than one sentence. Typing a few words only to backspace them after two minutes. I empathize and stand in solidarity with you, my frustrated author. In these unfortunate and all-too-frequent cases, the stream of consciousness technique can be of service.

It’s something I learned in a dumb arts camp I went to the summer before eighth grade. The point is to get yourself writing, no matter how dull you feel at the moment. It’s really simple: just write whatever you’re thinking. That’s it. No hesitations, no editing for clarity. Expect incomplete sentences, repeated words, random jumps, and even super personal stuff you hoped you wouldn’t think of while doing the exercise, but you did anyway. When you’re finished, don’t throw it away. Keep it somewhere. Sometimes it’s interesting to see your thought processes in a tangible way. Even if you get nothing out of it, you’ll feel proud that you at least wrote something. If you’re super lucky, you’ll have gotten an idea before having finished the exercise. That’s the beauty of it. The mind is never abandoned of inspiration. Ideas are just a little shy sometimes; they take a little coaxing to fully reveal themselves.

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