Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Power of Reverse Psychology?

Unlike  Rick (see yesterday's post) who is terribly organized, I am not. It is almost midnight in the UK (so this one is short and most likely with typos) where I am enjoying a family holiday.

Having spent last week in Devon and Cornwall, my husband and I flew north to Yorkshire today to continue our non-stop eating extravaganza (because that's all we seem to be doing) for a final week. Both of us must have gained at least five pounds.

So what has this to do with writing? Well ... a peculiar thing happened. For the first time in a decade I gave myself permission to have a proper holiday and not write my books. In fact, the only reason I took my laptop at all was just in case there was an emergency at work. My family were thrilled. They would have my undivided attention.

The mind works in weird ways because no sooner had I written in my journal of my intention not to write my books, I became unexpectedly inspired and compelled to write whenever I could. I found myself waking early, eager to sneak away and write for a couple of hours before everyone got up.  This has never happened to me before. Usually, writing first drafts are like pulling teeth. Now I am halfway through this one.

Unfortunately, this form of reverse psychology has not worked on giving up clotted cream, Cornish ice cream or home-made fudge.


Aline Templeton said...

Hannah, having done exactly as yuo did, I told my editor I was going to take a few weeks off before starting the next one. Also like you, I have now started to find all sorts of ideas floating around. Not so much reverse psychology, I reckon, as the virtues of Having a break!
And only put on five pounds? You're not trying!

Rick Blechta said...

When it comes to creativity, I think there's danger in trying to push the process along. In my experience it just does not work. That space in your thoughts when you're brain really isn't occupied all that much seems to allow the subconscious the freedom to indulge itself and that's when ideas flow. I've heard of a writer who gets all of her "thought work" done by ironing! She says every last piece of fabric in her house is ironed when she's working on a book. Apparently, she's become one of the world's foremost ironers because of this technique.

Charlotte Hinger said...

Had to laugh at Rick's comment. Years ago, when everyone ironed, I always felt like I ironed out the wrinkles in my life and had the answers to most of my problems at the end of this back-breaking day.