- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Ulysses Press (September 1, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1569754764
- ISBN-13: 978-1569754764
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Writing Open the Mind: Tapping the Subconscious to Free the Writing and the Writer
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I broke out of the straight jacket of "proper writing" and became myself once again after I read the book. But it was even better than what I remembered I used to be before, years ago... If I thought I had freedom of expression and creative abundance prior to business school, I was grossly mistaken. The book offered a wealth of exercises, which bent my brain this way and that way, startled and shocked me, and made my thinking so much more flexible, sublime. I discovered bold permissions, not restrictions, that let my mind soar. I got acquainted with the subconscious, the "shy forest creature," who is responsible for all that creativity we don't even now we carry in the back of our minds, and I made friends with mess. It is in the messiness of things that I've leaned to go into a trance where I could unearth the jewels of brilliance... I am so happy to have found this book!
This is not just another "how to write" book. "Writing Open the Mind" is a watershed work on the writing process, thoroughly researched and proven in the laboratory of Couturier's workshops, about how to gain access to our deepest and truest feelings and memories which are often inaccessible, buried under the mountainous tailings of our personal histories and cemented over with psychological defenses.
I've been to Andy's workshops and experienced repeatedly the way these exercises can trick the mind into revealing its precious ore. Time and again I was amazed, sometimes shocked, at what ended up on the paper before me after one of Andy's free-write exercises. Sometimes it was stuff I knew was there but could never seem to bring myself to write about. Or names and scenes and rich sensory detail I'd forgotten.
And the look on Andy's shining face, the beaming smile, the gleam in his eyes, spoke volumes about his passion for helping writers do exactly what I had just done. I saw that look repeatedly as my classmates accomplished similar feats of creative access.
Deep within the subconscious is where a writer's best material resides, and this is where good writers toil diligently, working, as Steinbeck said, "at the impossible".
I have two library shelves of books on writing, and Andy Couturier's WOM has taken it's well-deserved place alongside Nat Goldberg's "Writing Down the Bones". (Maybe Andy will do a companion audio tape or video followup?)
For example, NLP describes people's processing of information as visual, auditory or kinesthetic. We choose a major mode to take information into our brains, which interpret it by firing neurons. If you change your comfort zone and do something different, different neurons fire! This gives you some surprising new ideas, which can lead to new creative output. For example, the author suggests starting some writing, then getting up and walking around, touching, feeling, detecting what is in your environment and how it makes you feel (kinesthetic experience.) This may trigger some deeply hidden thoughts. Likewise, the author suggests trying to make syllables out of what you are seeing in the world--moss on a tree, water, etc. (Sometimes I wonder if this is how words started--how many languages have wawawa as the sound for water?)
There are fanciful methods like "automatic writing"--just letting the hand detach from the eye and writing, trying new voices, scrambling words and playing with architypes. All are great ways to trigger creativity. If you are stuck for ideas, this may help you break through. I like this in conjunction with The Writer's Block which is a clever, cube-shaped book with over 700 quick exercises to stimulate your writing.
Most recent customer reviews
But honestly, reading "Writing Open The Mind" got tiring after a couple...Read more
Having a wonderful time, wish you were here. Okay, you are here, but I mean really here-not just lingering between the synapses of...Read more