My mind is an iceberg. I don’t mean that it’s big and cold and just drifts off (although the latter is often true). Nor has it ever clumsily sunk an ocean liner in a misguided attempt to get as close as possible to Kate Winslet. What I mean is, there’s a huge amount below the surface.
And, of course, I am not unique. Sigmund Freud suggested that 80% of the workings of the mind actually take place in the unconscious. It is where we bury our darkest desires and our most painful memories. A place where we cannot wilfully go, yet it constantly influences our lives. The place where our dreams are born.
If your dreams are anything like mine then you will agree that the unconscious is a very strange place indeed.
And I wonder if that is where creativity comes from. I mean all these ideas that just pop into my head, it’s not like I’ve thought them through. And I’m absolutely sure that the unconscious keeps working on things even after the rest of me has given up and metaphorically gone to the pub. Sometimes literally gone to the pub.
For example. How often do you struggle to remember something that you know you know and yet you just can’t bring it to mind. And then some time later it just pops into your head. That’s your unconscious at work, that is.
And I find that happens when I’m writing. One advantage of writing very, very slowly (although I’ve done a mad 400 words today!) is that it gives my unconscious time to work. Sometimes I’ll get really stuck, and then I pick it up again the next day and it just flows. I’m sure it’s my unconscious smoothing the way.
So, today I salute my unconscious. You may turn my nights into phantasmagorical epics that would scare Salvador Dali, but you a do a great job all the same.