Monday, September 24, 2012

Knowing When

How often do you listen to your gut/instinct? I mean really listen. Not just in a "hey, maybe you shouldn't eat that fifth donut" kind of way, but more like "hey, something's telling me not to take Calvary Church Road and go the long way around on 985 instead" kind of way.

I do. Or, at least, I try to. I mindfully listen to myself. This may sound kinda hippy-dippy or whatever, but I've always thought that if there's any smidgen of "supernatural" ability out there, it's precognition/prescience. I think I've written about the deja vu phenomenon before, as well as jamais vu. I find it all personally fascinating. I'm not saying I can sense when a truck has run off the road and traffic is blocked for an hour, and I've not been one of those stories yet where the person says they told their so-and-so not to go to some place, and it ends up getting bombed or a gunman comes or whatever, but I don't discount any of my gut instincts.

Our bodies and minds are amazing and intricate, and I'm not just saying that because I've been eyeball-deep in studying about the genitourinary system for the past two days. (It might have more to do with the fact that I've started watching Fringe. Love it.)

So whether it's good sense or gut instinct, knowing when to say/do/feel/think anything is a skill worth cultivating. Chuck Wendig wrote something about it today. You should read it.

I've made some big life decisions for myself in the past week. One of them was the decision that now isn't the time to query my novel. I still think it's ready. I still think it's worthy. I was just starting to get really bad feelings about it, especially in relation to my other stuff, so after seeking some confirmation on what my gut was telling me (and I was trying not to hear), I went with it.

It was incredibly freeing. I've been creatively blocked for a year or more now, it seems, but two nights ago, less than a week after eschewing myself from the terrible self-imposed burden of OMGPUBLISHING, I started writing something new and strange and wonderful. I have no clue where it's going, what it's about. I don't even know the narrator's name. As a tried-and-true plotter of novels, it's definitely a change of pace. Maybe that's what I needed. Maybe that's what my gut was telling me.

Forget that song's advice about listening to your heart. All that lump of muscle wants is oxygen, anyway. Go with your gut. It outranks you, anyway, if you consider your colony of bacteria to have a voting factor...


Linda G. said...

I'm a big believer in gut instinct--I always pay attention to mine.

Have fun with your new writing project! :)

Voltech said...

Generally speaking, the only time I listen to my gut is when I'm playing video games; it's served me well in countless rounds of Mario Party.

But beyond that, I'd rather act on strong evidence than leave it up to my gut. Facts, proof, reason, and things like that are much more useful than instinct alone. That said, sometimes you have to make your own evidence -- a strong argument in its own right -- when it comes to choosing your next action. But as a writer on the cusp of being published, that's something you're likely aware of, eh?

So it's good to hear that you're moving forward with your writing. If following your gut works for you, keep it up. Just be sure to reward it every now and then with a tasty some hot dogs, or those biscuits from Red Lobster. Or real lobster. Or anything that uses crab meat. You actually can't go wrong with any seafood, really -- well, allergens aside.

Anonymous said...


Old Kitty said...

LOL!! I must speak to my gut more!! Yay!! Be quiet, heart! LOL!

Take care

Saumya said...

So exciting that you have a new project! And I love this: all that lump of muscle wants is oxygen, anyway. So true.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Umm, this post has like a MILLION THINGS i want to comment on!
1st - YAYAYAYAY on FRINGE!!!! LOVE that show and i wish everyone was watching it
2. I've never heard of Jamais Vu before, and now i'm totally fascintated. It sounds mildly terrigying and i don't know if i want to experience it.
3. I experience Deja Vu all the frickin time. Sometimes it will be like 4 times removed, where i remember being somwhere/doing something before, and in that deja vu i feel like i had deja vu when i "experienced" it before. Trippy.
4. A few years ago i was driving home from work, and for whatever reason, i didn't take my usual way home. Lucky for me becuase that was the day of teh bridge collapse and i would've driven over that bridge, probably roughly around that time.
5. Woo hoo on new idea! I know we talked about this a bit but yeah, i noticed when i stopped worrying about not having a new idea, the new ideas came back

Matthew MacNish said...

LOL. Well said, Summer.

If prescience exists, I definitely don't have it. I'm always picking the worst way to go about things.

But yay on your new WIP, that sounds awesome!

Lola Sharp said...

Yay for new, unplanned, non-plotted wips. There's a special magic to that kind of creative freedom.
And yay for listening to your instinct.
I wish you well on your journey.