Automatic writing is a way of harnessing your creativity by actively tapping your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious is that part of your mind that generates all the answers to the questions you have about your novel. Or, anything else for that matter.
Say You’ve Been Working on A Novel
You want to portray the frustrations of an old man who has lived a life of unfulfilled dreams and desires.
You think and you think and you can’t figure it out.
Then, one night, it comes to you in a vision of a great white bird as you are falling asleep.
This is the image that symbolizes all the old man’s unfulfilled dreams. You develop this image into a recurring dream that haunts the old man in the last days of his life.
While this may seem fantastic this is exactly how creativity works.
Beethoven received the opening of his 9th symphony as he was falling asleep and Thomas Edison received clues to his many inventions this way as well.
Entire books have even been written through automatic writing. In 1925 the Irish poet W.B. Yeats privately published the book A Vision which consists of a vast array of geometrical gyres, symbols and astronomical records as well as writings on philosophy, history and poetry.
Ask And You Shall Receive
Your conscious mind asks the question and your subconscious mind brings you the answer.
But, it brings you the answer in its own good time.
Automatic Writing Is Simple
Find a nice quiet place to write and relax with a pen and paper and a writing surface.
Close your eyes and place the tip of the pen to the paper but don’t try to write anything. You may feel like a fool because nothing is happening.
It may take a few attempts but eventually, your hand will begin to twitch and you will begin writing.
Don’t force it.
Don’t consciously write anything.
Don’t even look at the paper as you’re writing.
When the writing is done, see what you’ve got. It might be gibberish but it might not be. You may be left with certain words or phrases you can use in your novel, maybe a clue to the plot line. Only you can tell for sure.
Over time you can even start asking questions in your mind in order to receive specific answers that you can use in your writing.
Try it and see. If it worked for Yeats there’s got to be some merit to it.