Opening to Your Senses: A Series for Writers – Part 6: Intuition

Have you ever thought of a friend for the first time in months, only to have them callpastelwatercolour1 you within ten minutes?  Have you ever followed a hunch, possibly turning down what seemed like a perfect job offer, only to discover you made the right decision? Maybe you later learned that the company was in financial trouble and within three months closed their doors.

The Oxford Dictionary defines intuition as: “The ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” Most of us have received information through non-logical means.  We talk about a gut feeling or a hunch; we know something without a logical explanation for how we acquired that knowledge.

Your sixth sense of intuition can guide the way you write. Writer Julie McCutchenStarburst Universe AB1 says: “Intuitive writing will always deliver deeper, richer and more meaningful insights and stories than your rational mind can create.” She adds: “Take a few moments before you write to listen deeply and gradually become aware of the space beyond your conscious mind. Write from there.”  Julie is the  Founder & Creative Director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). To read the full article, click HERE.

You can also incorporate examples of intuition into your stories.  Here are some suggestions:

  • if you write mysteries, you’re probably well aware of the role intuition can play in the life of your main character.  Click HERE to read an article about developing a Sherlock Holmes-style intuition. The principles outlined can also be applied to your characters in a mystery story
  •  one of your characters may have a bad “gut” feeling about a setting that on theDSCN1660 surface appears neutral.  They might visit their grandmother at her house in the country and sense something’s changed – maybe someone is lurking outside or a telephone caller has begun harassing the elderly woman, and she is afraid to talk about this
  •  a character may display a natural ability for intuitive empathy which can help them gain others’ trust; a quality that could be used for good or evil purposes
  •  a character may experience a premonition and realize at the last minute they don’t want to marry their fiancé, or they may change their flight at the last minute and discover their life was spared when the plane crashed without survivors
  •  in a war setting, a solidier may act on his/her intuition and miss a bullet intended for them
  • your character could be a psychic or consult a psychic

Exercises

#1 – Developing Your Own Intuition

By developing your own intuitive abilities you can deepen your writing and be better able to add sensory experiences involving intuition, to your stories. It’s hard to begin to hear your own inner voice if you are stressed out, always rushing and filling every moment with activity. Intuition often whispers, and in order to hear that quiet voice within, it’s helpful to become still.  Here are some suggestions:

  • try to get away for a walk in nature at least a few times a week.  A forest setting is
    DSC03945 ideal, but a park will do.Turn your cellphone off and don’t listen to music. Instead, focus on your breathing. Observe nature around you, and rather than ruminate on what’s happening in your life, let any thoughts that arise just float by. Notice if any intuitive flashes occur while you’re walking
  • in your writer’s notebook, keep track of the intuitive hunches you receive, and whether or not they were accurate
  • pay attention to your dreams and develop the habit of jotting down a few notes about them each morning. Note whether you have any prophetic dreams, and whether what was predicted came true
  • read books about developing your intuition (see the resource section below for some suggestions)
  • click HERE to take a fun quiz to find out how intuitive you are

#2 – Intuitive Writing

In her book entitled: Writing Down Your Soul – How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within, Conari Press, 2008, Janet Conner outlines a process for accessing inner wisdom through writing. If unconventional ways of accessing intuition appeal, you might enjoy reading this book

#3 – Adding Intuitive Touches to Your WritingDSCN9210A

  • select a story, or section of a story that you don’t feel is working well
  • take time to relax and focus on your breathing to bring yourself into an intuitive state. Try rewriting parts of the story in this state. Observe whether you gained any new perspectives
  • consider whether you could make the story more interesting by adding sensory elements involving intuition

Have you had personal experiences that confirmed your own intuitive ability?  Do you incorporate intuitive elements into your stories?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.

Until next time,

 

Janis

 

Resources    

Books to help you develop your intuition.

  1. The Intuitive Way: The Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Awareness by Penney Pierce, Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc., 2009
  2. Tune In: Let Your Intuition Guide You to Fulfillment and Flow by Sonia Choquette, Hay House, Inc., 2013

To read Part 1 in this series (Visual), CLICK HERE.

To read Part 2 in this series (Sound), CLICK HERE.

To read Part 3 in this series (Taste) CLICK HERE.

To read Part 4 in this series (Touch) CLICK HERE.

To read Part 5 in this series (Smell) CLICK HERE.

Our next writing retreat will take place on Sunday, June 22, 2014.  We hope you can join us.

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All photographs and artwork in this post are by Janis McCallen. 

 

1 comment Write a comment

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