Thursday, December 06, 2007

Writing from the Unconscious

Yesterday I received an email that gave me much puzzlement and delight. The complimentary close was either a Freudian slip (fraughtian?) or charmingly original--or both.

The message ended: "Bed well," followed by the signature.

I think perhaps Be Well was what was consciously intended. I'm not sure.

But I do know that the best tidbits in my own writing slip in unbidden and surprise me. I'm always grateful when I later recognize them.

Well, in truth, they weren't unbidden.

What I mean is they were unstrived for, because in this matter direct striving doesn't do any good. They're simply gifts that arrive at the portal of the writer who stays at the job, keeping a rhythm of writing and resting, writing and doing the mindless physical tasks that let the material keep cooking....

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Debra w said...

Hi Peggy,

I love that, "Bed well"! So many interesting ideas come to mind...hmmm.

I think that some of the best ideas come from a very Freudian place. In our house, with three teenage girls and a twenty year old, we have many, many laughs over Freudian slips.

Take good care!

Peggy Payne said...

I'll bet.

And I'm going to search out the date of the magazine you asked about with the Fun! story.

Debra w said...

Thanks Peggy, I would love to read it!

billie said...

I think the most important thing in finding those synchronistic moments and gifts is the rhythm you mention, Peggy. The writing and resting and writing and doing the daily tasks we all do, including the fun, restorative things that open our minds and clear out the churning inner dialogue that shuts down the possibility for the surprise and the sacred.

The best days I have are the ones where I find that rhythm and simply follow its flow. These days I spend most of my energy letting go of all my little inner dialogues about what I need to be doing. I've worked on this a long time, and it's so much easier than it used t be, but there are still those odd days where I feel like I'm a slave-driver inside my own head.

The moments of grace and surprise knock it right out.

Peggy said...

I'm interested in the idea that you make following your impulses a goal. I've been trying to talk myself out of some of mine for years. Maybe I've had the wrong goal.

But then my therapist told me recently I should get rid of my superego entirely, that my values were sufficient to keep me in the road.

I'm not sure I know how to get rid of it.

Peggy said...

Debra and anyone else interested, the link for the Fun issue of Inc. magazine is

In locating it, I discovered that the word fun has been used 1650 times in this business magazine. I find that heartening.

billie said...

Finding the rhythm is in a way my goal - but it's more like undoing the things that block the natural state, which is being in rhythm.

If that makes sense.

Peggy said...

It makes sense to me, Billie. I'm going to do it for a bit and see what happens.

Debra w said...

Thanks so much for providing that link, Peggy! I am going to check it out.

No reason that "fun" should not be a regular part of business. I am glad that there are individuals out there who realize that.

Peggy said...

How to do that when you're self-employed with no staff is a different set of possibilities.

People do play with venue a lot--working at a coffee shop, or on the porch, etc.