This is a little something I’ve gleaned from BLINK by Malcolm Gladwell. Science has provided some intriguing and startling evidence that there is power in decisions made in the blink of an eye. Instinct, intuition, “precognition” are looking more and more like the end result of a gazillion minute pieces of data that your brain processes behind a closed door. (No “if, ands or buts” allowed in the room.) These feelings, hunches and urges are gifts delivered to you in the blink of an eye because your brain has seen a pattern, combined seemingly irrelevant data into a significant whole, or kicked into survival mode. We should pay attention to those gifts.
Writing is creative. Developing those instincts can lead you to wonderfully authentic, confident and organic work. Don’t throttle your instinctive creativity by being afraid to stray from the carefully mapped out route.
Beware of blinking. You can’t rely solely on divine inspiration. Gathering knowledge, experiencing life, honing craft, developing structure and paying attention to character arc are only some of the things you really do need to do. Why? So that the “war room” in your brain can make those subtle connections or see a pattern and nudge you. You get inspiration from perspiration.
Also, not every “blinked instinct” is a truth. Personal bias can sneak in. If you’ve carefully constructed a novel requiring a beta hero and in the middle of a tough scene you suddenly just KNOW the problem will be solved if you switch to an Alpha…be careful you aren’t acting on the fact that three people online mentioned that Alphas are hot and you need one to sell a book. You may be priming the pump instead of having that true moment of gestalt.
Words on paper. Lots of them. Especially “The End.”
You’ve got to make connections. You need support. You need guidance. You need to support and give guidance. You need to hand that manuscript off to a publisher.
Blink. Think. Ink. Link.