For the life of me, I will never understand how people are able to publish books with the title: "How to Become a Writer." It puzzles me exceedingly, and probably will until my dying day.
My favourite poet of all time, John Keats, once said "If poetry comes not as naturally as leaves to a tree, it had better not come at all."
In my opinion, you cannot teach a person how to write. They simply are a writer! The act of writing is like walking or swimming, yes you can teach a person how to do it, but some will develop it more naturally than others, perhaps even excel at it enough to make a living.
Writing comes naturally to me, it is a form of art that I have nurtured ever since I was a child. My mind was filled with endless daydreams. For hours I would sit at home, stare at the sky, and see a world of imagination before me. To this day, even if I find myself waiting at the doctor's office or for the next train, I can feel my mind developing a new plot-line to keep me entertained. But we should return to the title of this blog post "How to Master Intuitive Writing." Firstly, to be an intuitive writer you must learn how to listen to the inner voice. We all have a voice inside of us, mostly represented by the media as an angel and devil on our shoulder, but I am not referring to the inner voice of our conscious mind. No, it is a far more elusive one! It is the voice that suggests decisions on a daily basis. The one that decides whether you should save your money this morning or drive over to Starbucks for a nice pastry and an iced caramel macchiato. It is that voice that I use when writing a story, except I rely on it so heavily that I never plot it out from beginning to end. I listen to the voice as it naturally whispers over my shoulder, suggesting a sudden plot-twist or to suddenly kill off the character. It is the voice of the unexpected, of pure creativity, of madness!
Henceforth, to master this style of writing you need two things: a strong sense of intuitive thinking and a wild imagination. They act as a sort of yin and yang, a perfect balance of harmony that will allow you to craft a story. To become efficient at this style of writing may I suggest you practice writing prompts. There are tons of them out there on the internet, a simple Google search and you will have a list to last you the year. For example, "The custodian walked into the classroom, alarmed at the sound of..." Wait a second. Let your imagination give way and fly to new heights. What was the sound that the custodian heard? A chilling laugh of madness, a painful scream, the painfully familiar voice of his ex-wife? Can't you see the endless worlds of possibilities? So, to master this style of writing, I suggest you practice using writing prompts until you develop the natural ability to story-tell without a detailed plot-line placed in front of you.
One final piece of advice I will leave with you is to develop a visual board. My preference is Pinterest, as you can see by the screenshot image above. On a weekly basis, I choose images that stimulate my creative mind and pin it there, continually referencing to them as I write a story. Keep the ball rolling, everyone! Always search for inspiration! Take up a pen, scribble on paper, and with some hard work and a little bit of luck you will create a masterpiece.
QOTD: Would you be interested if I created a "Peter Gray" Pinterest account for you to follow?
A great power lies inside of you. Close your eyes. Be still. In time you will feel it, like a low frequency that connects you to this universe. There is a power in stillness, and for writers it can become their greatest weapon.
I never plan out my story-lines. Instead, I let the idea naturally come to me and then like a tea bag steeping in water, I let these thoughts naturally grow in strength over time. Once an idea is formed in my mind, I finally sit down to put pen on paper, but even then, these "ideas" are not concrete nor are they set in stone.
To be a good intuitive writer you must listen to your gut- always. This style of writing is similar to a spiritual person that utilizes their third-eye after long periods of mediation to effectively sharpen their intuition. In this same way, I use my "gut feelings" when crafting a story.
In short, intuitive writing is a style that only a few authors adopt, most of them are self-professed introverts with their heads constantly in the clouds. This style of writing is a scary process because there is no end game in sight, you never know how your story will end. I would say it is like gambling, but it does not replicate that high that is often associated with such a risky past-time. Rather, it is like walking around a darkened room while squinting your eyes into tiny slits and having your arms carefully spread out in case you happen to fall upon the cold, hard floor. It can be an exhilarating feeling, especially when you gain inspiration from your subconscious thoughts, natural surroundings, or random people that you happened to encounter when you are at the peak of your writing process. Suddenly, crazy plot-lines pop up inside of your head when you are engrossed in tedious, quotidian tasks, such as washing the dishes, driving to work, or taking a shower. A sudden epiphany strikes like lightening and then you rush over to your notebook to write it down. I often have this experience with potential character names or their physical appearances at random times of the day, it is as if the story is building by itself inside of my head with little effort on my part.
Now imagine you and your friends set up the game of dominoes. Picture it in your mind's eye. You can see the long line, the beginning and the end, don't you? It is universally acknowledged that when you knock down one piece then the rest of them will follow. Now, with most writers they set up their novel like a game of dominoes. Intuitive writers are significantly different, we set up the game while the dominoes pieces are still falling. Crazy, isn't it? Except we knock down the pieces in slow motion, while placing the next dominoes at the perfect time to have it knock down another one. It is like a rat race, a whirl-wind event, but that is the most exhilarating part about it!
If you want to learn more about intuitive writing and how to master it, I will share a few key tips in my next blog post. Make sure to subscribe to blog or follow me on Instagram @petergray_writer to learn more.
3 Things I have Learned in my first year of publishing
There came a point in my life that I was so good at writing sex scenes that I could be penning it in a middle of a University lecture, even on the subway ride home. After a while I grew tired of it, and decided that when I become a self-publisher I wanted to experiment writing and publishing clean romances as well. It would mean not having a book cover with a hot sexy man bare chested with abs, or a steamy photo that would send young woman flocking to Amazon to buy it.
Now, do I miss writing steamy romances? Certainly, the desire is still there to produce them. At the same time I have learned (much to my satisfaction) that a slow burn has just as much fighting power. When I penned "The Tragic Tale of Teddy Woven" and "Awakening," there was a clear intent to create a slow burn where the main characters did not kiss until the very end of the novel. Why? Because I know that the reader deep down inside desires it. They can't take the sexual tension seething between the two characters and want the instant gratification of seeing them finally giving into their desires.
So, a valuable lesson I learned this year is that sex does sell, but so does a good slow burn.
Part three of Real Talks will be revealed this upcoming Saturday, so check my blog or Instagram for the latest updates.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank each and everyone of you for your support. I entered the self-publishing world this time last year, and it is amazing to see the level of growth and connection I have made with my readers and fellow indie authors.
So, thank you for your private messages on Instagram.
Thank you for leaving a book review on Amazon or Goodreads.
Thank you for your creative Instagram stories to let me know you are currently reading my novels.
Thank you for the fan videos, reels and artwork you posted online.
Thank you for taking part in the international book giveaways.
And thank you for purchasing my book, or sharing a free pdf version with your friends.
Every little thing that you have done to support me as an artist does makes a difference. I am truly overwhelmed by the love you have shown me over the past year. Your kind words gets me excited as I continue my journey as a self-published author. I am finally achieving my life-long goals, and you guys make this journey far more meaningful.
At the beginning of this year, I made it a personal goal to connect with my readers and fellow indie writers because I believe it is important to place yourself in a community of like-minded individuals. As you already know, writing is an independent process- a lonely one. There is a long span of time where it is just my computer and my thoughts as I sit alone for several hours in a day. Nonetheless, once a book is published and distributed to readers across the world it immediately makes a connection. Moreover, I love to hear your thoughts and the way you critically analyze a text. So to conclude this impulsive rant, I feel an overwhelming wave of gratitude towards all of you. I love you so much!
Here is to many more years of me publishing novels, and you lovely people getting to read them.