My Unconscious and Me

Yesterday afternoon, I typed “The End” to a new manuscript, and printed out a hard copy. Then, as always happens when I finish a manuscript, I slept more soundly than I have in weeks. Not that I won’t have to go back and do some tightening, smoothing, or cutting, but I have a sense of relief and accomplishment that comes from finishing a project.

It always seems to me that my mind splits a bit when I’m actively working on a manuscript. The conscious part puts in a lot of hours, but it thinks of other things too. The unconscious part, however, works around the clock. Even when I’m not consciously thinking about it, the unconscious part of my mind is sifting through what’s been written and what is still to be written and finding new connecting threads. Then, usually when I’m just waking in the morning, it gives me new ideas I hadn’t had before. When those ideas come, I grab a pen and groggily write them down. I think of my unconscious mind as sort of a writing partner, and I pay attention to what it tells me.

In a few days, my unconscious mind and I will start the editing process on the new manuscript. But in the meantime, we’ll both sleep well at night. At least I will. I’m not sure what other things my unconscious might be up to while I sleep.

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