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Automatic Writing

Many writers find that they write intuitively. Intuition can be a stepping stone to another medium that certain writers have utilized to good effect: automatic writing.

Many questions have been raised regarding this writing method. What is it exactly? What purpose does it serve? Has it influenced the creation of fictional works?

Wikipedia says automatic writing produces material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer’s hand forms the message, but the person is unaware of what will be written. It is sometimes done in a trance state. At other times, the writer is aware of his surroundings but not of the actions of his writing hand.

During the late 19th century, inspiration for automatic writing was generally attributed to external or supernatural forces. More recent theories of personality postulate unconscious as well as conscious motivation.

Whatever its source, automatic writing has proven to be a valuable tool in the right hands. Narratives produced by means of automatic writing often appear to incorporate skills that surpass those known by the writer.

In 1913, Pearl Curran was a St. Louis housewife who started to receive messages from “Patience Worth.” These messages became so numerous that Pearl engaged a secretary, and over the course of 25 years, recorded over 400,000 words! The work encompassed creative writings, poetry, a play, and several novels that were published to critical acclaim. People came from all over to witness the automatic writing taking place.

Famous writers have implemented automatic writing for production of their material.

* Charles Dickens claimed that some of his work was produced via this medium.
* Children’s author Enid Blyton credited automatic writing for the production of hundreds of articles and books.

Automatic writing has proven to be particularly appropriate for fictional works. Whatever the well from which it springs: whether from the depths of the sub-conscious or from spirit guides who have shared a longer connection with time and space, automatic writing may add multi-faceted layers to the written word.