Posted by: carolannwilliams | October 28, 2009

Unconscious? Good

In “backstage,” Robert Olen Butler gives advice to a young writer:

After writing a dozen full-length plays, forty-four short stories, and five novels that didn’t get published he finally realized that the problem was that he was writing from his head. “I was writing from ideas. I was willing the work into being. I was failing to let my work generate itself from my unconscious, from the place where I dream. When at last I came to understand that I was basically looking in the wrong place in myself for my stories and novels, I finally started to write — and publish — the work that articulates my deepest sense of the human condition.” The result, as we all know, has been superb.

So, as Butler says, if you want your writing to be good, write “from your deepest white-hot center, from the place where you dream . . .”


  1. Hi,

    It’s a good blog. Writing is largely an unconscious process which is why writers require time alone to reflect and imagine.

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