|Intuitive Writing class at Kalani on The Big Island of Hawaii|
Since I am currently teaching an intuitive writing class to a group, I thought I'd try it out here. Usually I use pen and paper when I practice intuitive writing, but you can also type. There seems to be more connection to the page and the words and the innermost thoughts when there is direct contact to pen and paper, so this is an experiment. There are no rules in intuitive writing. It's stream of conscious writing. You get to let loose on the page and that can be very freeing. The other part about intuitive writing is that once you start you can't stop. It does not mean that you have to write very fast, but just continue to keep your hand (or in this case hands) moving. If you stop, you will think, ponder, critique, rewrite, throw away, cross out, worry, fret, give up, do something else, pat yourself on the back and a number of other things. You will move out of the STREAM of consciousness and start heading in other directions. Now you are not practicing intuitive writing.
Much of my writing, even book writing, has come from intuitive writing. At least that is where I started. I allowed myself to just write. From there things started to take shape or I gave my writing shape. It starts with an idea and flows from there.
There are no rules of grammar, punctuation or spelling in intuitive writing. You can write in another language, symbols or pictures. You can repeat words. You can doodle or scribble or write blah, blah blah. You will find that even when you think there is nothing to write, something indeed will come out—something you least expected.
Often I give my students a prompt and we go from there. When I say, "Times up!" they are usually not ready to stop. They are in the flow. I let them finish up what they are writing. Most of the time these writers are unsure of what they have just written. I then open the space for sharing. We now put words to this writing we have created. This can be scary because we are creating from a very deep place. It can be scary to share what we have written. We may feel it is too raw, unpolished, obscene, vulnerable, bad, incomprehensible, rubbish or simply too personal to share. I never make anyone share if they don't want to, but often everyone does. There's a bonding that happens with every single group. If one person is writing about standing on the edge of a cliff, I often find that others have written about this too with slightly different words to express this scene or these emotions. What happens then is that we realize we are often more connected than we think—that our innermost, private thoughts that flow out through the intuitive writing process are not strange or weird, or unfit to share, they are often universal thoughts, feelings, emotions, concerns and even ideas. They come from a place of connectedness and there is a great feeling that comes with being connected on a deeper level.
I am merely the guide in these classes. I provide and create the space for intuitive writing to happen, but it's the group that writes and creates. I am also one of the people in the group who is creating and sharing.
I feel fortunate to have taught these classes as an artist-in-residence at Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii and at Edmonds Community College as part of their Arts Now program. Currently I teach these classes from my home. I feel this is the best space to teach these classes as it feels nurturing to be in a home around a table with comfy chairs, cups of teas, journals and pens.
When I hear the clicking of pens on paper, it brings me joy. How many times have you sat in a circle of people in silence and practiced writing without thinking? How many times have you let go of where your writing should go (or where you should go for that matter) and just let the words fall out on the page.
I just did that here. I just practiced intuitive writing for this blog post! How about that?
Have you ever practiced intuitive writing? Choose a prompt and set a timer for 10 minutes and just write. I promise you that you'll discover amazing things if you do this for just 10 minutes a day!