“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come,” wrote Ernest Hemingway. And, as in writing, so in life. Get started, and the juice will come. In Goddess of Everything, I wrote from the image. It presented itself to my mind then the fire spread to my belly! Readers have noted surprise, shock, triggering, and ultimately satisfaction from the read. Although there may be twists and turns, we lean into vital instincts, it typically leads to a satisfying ending point. So, when the impulse is there, I go with it, and the energy builds from there. From experience, it’s a fine thing to start things up and trust that the juice will come, making for a good follow-through and a good ending.
As a psychologist and writer, I’m always in the learning mode with the conscious and unconscious mind. It’s an attitude I nourish. It’s there first thing in the morning, a sense of wanting to see and follow through with what I see. It comes in intuitive images and instincts that rise to consciousness and give me the beginning of a scene or words to say to a patient. At the start of Goddess of Everything, we’re into a funeral, the pull into the realm of death and mystery unmistakable. It was rough for me to begin a novel with this eerie scene. But, the image from my unconscious that rose at the beginning of the book guided me to go there. So I did. Turns out, readers were immediately drawn in, and the story flew onward from there. So, as you can see, whether it’s a dream that comes to mind the night before writing, or an image in the morning, or a strong feeling as I open my laptop to write, it’s a starting point for me to jump into the page and take off. We begin with what comes to us, usually just a little bit, and then off we go into helpful insights that lead to living out our story.
As you’re coming to see, while writing, doing therapy, and living, I do my best to flow with feelings, images, and dreams. They are the starting points, a little something to trust and go with. Try an experiment today. Trust your strong feelings, the ones that stay with you about a person or situation. Trust the image that comes to mind or what you dreamt about what’s going on. You’ll find that your intuition gives you enough go with, and once you start, the rest will come.
Let’s do our best to nourish trusting strong feelings, spontaneous mental images, and dreams. We can start now to listen a little more sensitively to feelings, intuitions, and your initial impression of what your dream from the night before is telling you. Go with it, and you’ll find that the rest will come. It’s a big step to trust, so lean into it. And, as Hemingway said, the juice will come.
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