Write faster and more efficiently by tapping the power of your unconscious mind.
I have been using a technique that allows me to tap into the power of my unconscious mind to make my writing go more smoothly. I first learned about “implementation intentions” from my Psych 101 professor decades ago.
By using the “Intentions” technique I will often wake up in the morning with an article practically written for me … all I have to do is type it.
Most of the time my writing goes faster and more smoothly and only occasionally does the process bomb.
Here’s What My Unconscious Mind Does:
1. A full tree has grown over-night!
About 50% of the time, I will start my computer, launch my writing program (Scrivener) and an article just flows out of me. Start to finish … it practically types itself onto my screen.
2. A partially grown seedling has sprouted.
Thirty percent of the time, I have to work on the article. The pieces are there and flow easily, but I might want to do a bit more research, or re-arrange the information for easier readying. My writing process is much faster than if I were to start an article from scratch.
3. The seed has germinated or has died.
And 20% of the time … I stall out and decide not NOW. I know an article is there … somewhere! I will have bits and pieces of the article in my head, but lots of blank spots. The article is just not ready to go, most of the time because it needs more research.
There are times I simply know that this article idea is NEVER going to work, so I delete it from my Scrivener list. The curious thing is that one or more other ideas instantly pop-up!
In the field of psychology, Implementation Intentions have been the subject of many scientific studies over the years, and the results are almost always successful.
The basic idea is to CONSCIOUSLY plant an outcome or outcome-path onto your unconscious mind’s radar. If you plant your seeds “right,” you will find yourself automatically doing what you intended.
Many people use it to create IF-THEN pathways that their unconscious mind will implement for them. For example, IF I am reading and feel the urge to eat something, I will make myself a cup of tea. Planting the “intention” ahead of times can work miracles.
Your unconscious mind is always at work. It can work on multiple things at the same time, so if you want to plant a handful of seeds at the same time, just go for it. Keep your physical limitations in mind!
Here’s how I use the “Intentions” technique to help write my articles:
The process starts the night before.
In my Scrivener writing program, I have a list of over 300 article ideas. Most of them are just that … an idea in title format.
For example … the idea for THIS article was listed as “Planting Article Seeds”
I either already know what I want to write tomorrow, or I scroll through my list. Usually something just jumps out at me (my unconscious mind is already at work).
In my “journal” notebook I write the “working title” at the top of the page.
Then I either create an outline of ideas for the article, or I write a sentence describing the article … similar to a TV Guide one-line movie description.
Because writing is my business, I then plant some seeds for ideas to take the article a step further. For example, ways to integrate or use this on one of my blogs, ideas for SEO, social media and ways in which to monetize the article.
My final step is to grab my day planner and decide on the THREE things I will do the next day. The first To-Do is always writing oriented. In my planner I make the writing task very concrete and specific.
For example, “Write and post “planting seeds” article. OR it could be “write 1000 words for Sailing Away novel.”
As you can see from my description above, I have planted three seeds that will tap into the power of my unconscious mind.
My first seed is to CHOOSE an article and outline “ideas or a direction” for the article. My second seed is asking my unconscious mind for business ideas.
My third seed to give my unconscious mind a time-frame — TOMORROW.
I always write my intentions physically. The process of hand writing in my journal notebook and in my day planner works!
Here are the fist two seeds I planted for THIS article. As you can see, it is really simple. In the top section is a very simple outline of my article. In the bottom section I switch to “the business.”
Now It’s YOUR Turn:
1. The night before …
2. Choose an article and give it a “working title.”
3. In a notebook: Outline your article in any format you prefer (mind map, bullet points, sentences or short paragraphs).
4. Optional: Add business intentions IF you want.
5. In Your Day Planner (or your notebook): List the three top to-dos for tomorrow. Specifically write the intention that your article will be COMPLETED. Use the working title for your article in your intention.