The State of Unthinking – Repost

The next few posts are going to be reposts of blogs I’ve written on other blogging platforms in the past, because I’ve started and abandoned way too many blogs to count.

The State of Unthinking – Past post 1/? – Originally posted at (which will be deleted in the future), June 4, 2012

There’s a notion shared by many writers (and dismissed by many others) that when you’re writing, your characters/story/pen/brain monkey take over, and you keep writing just so you can figure out what’s going to happen next in your story. I was just writing a bit of my Camp NaNoWriMo story, and I experienced something like it–maybe not exactly the same as what other writers experience, but my version of that writing state.

If you can’t guess from the title, I’ve decided to call it the State of Unthinking, because I’m all whimsical like that. Or whatever.

But I noticed when I write, things just happen on the page that I never realized would happen. I include a character I never knew existed, or I put in a minor detail with the potential of turning the whole story around for no reason known to me.

I’m not saying that I’m not writing this story, though. At a rational level, I’m very much in the John Green* camp, in that I am the person who comes up with my ideas, and no character randomly steals my keyboard from me and decides to do whatever he pleases with my story. I care too much (and I’m too much of a control freak) to let that happen. Typically, I know what’s going to happen in my story. I plot the basic timeline, I know most of the big things that are going to happen.

But I do believe in the State of Unthinking. When I write, I’m not actively thinking about the story–-my brain is strange, and I get engrossed in the image of black and white words appearing on the page***, rather than what I’m actually writing. (Somehow, most of the time what I write actually makes sense. Weird, huh?) But I’m still writing. The story is still moving. What I’m writing usually (or at least hopefully) impacts the future of the story**.

Anyway, nothing profound. I just like the name I came up with. Now going back to the State of Unthinking.

* I don’t think I need to explain just how much of a John Green fan girl I am. Yes, I’m one of those writers. Heh, what can I say? The man writes good books.

** For some reason, autocorrect wanted to correct “story” to “Osborn”. I just… What?

***ETA: This is necessarily true anymore. I am very conscious of what I’m putting down on the page, but my inner editor doesn’t have a tendency to butt in.


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