I do a lot of automatic writing in my notebooks. Just writing without a beginning or an end. Nothing conceptual, just the flow of words. Sometimes, I grab something in the flow. An ambiance, a setting, a flavour, an environment, or someone suddenly showing up and telling his story.
It’s not “journaling”, even though some house management, or personal feelings would show up from time to time.
On the photo you can see where I’ve marked some pages. After I finish a notebook, I let it “sleep” and weeks later, I read everything. That’s where I found some of my jewel characters.
In the novel that was published in french, I have this character of an old african man; so old that no one knows how old he is. In my notebook, I have this long thread about the ancestors drums and the elders telling the story of how mankind was born. Even if he is not a main character in the book, his presence creates authenticity in the story.
It’s also in one of these notebooks that I found a curious fairy who helps a young knight defeat a dragon. One of the many stories I told my kids.
Never underestimate the work that is not attached to anything. Through this practice, I discovered how my imagination worked and the freedom it needed to go beyond certain blocks I had about certain themes.
Tomorrow : Guests (are they going to read what’s in there?)
With great respect!