Dr Niamh On The Plum Tree

Childhood Imagination Sows Seeds of Future Brilliance

Insights With Dr. Niamh Clune: Let it Cook!

Dear Doctor!!! Inertia! What is it? And how do I cure it?

 “Here I am, Now I’m gone,” says the little cursor as it flickers on and off. It blinks, waits, and makes us feel useless…

Blank pages remonstrate ~ we haven’t come up with anything yet. We make a beginning, but the thread leads nowhere. We write something but quickly delete it ~ “not good enough,” says the gremlin voice within.

We fall into soporific musing rather than writing.

This is inertia ~ impossible now to find the thread of a beginning. Writer’s block serves as a metaphor that serves many of the things we’d like to do, but don’t.

Inertia, like everything else, has something to teach us. It tells us we should  stop forcing the idea into fruition. We haven’t given it enough time to cook.

Creating is a heuristic process ~ meaning to find or discover. It involves using intuition, but that in itself is only the beginning. Just because we intuit an idea, it doesn’t mean it is ready to be given birth. It is but a half-shaped thing, tacit, unformulated – pre-verbal. The idea has yet to be structured. The flesh must live on the bones. Give it time to cook into a new creative synthesis ~ that alchemical transformation born of tacit knowledge, experience, learning, research, passion and desire ~ and you, uniquely being you!

The Initial Engagement with an idea demands that we are wide open in surrender to the idea. We move Will out of the way. Using the will to make something happen prematurely dominates Psyche, causing her to close. She feels threatened by our sudden onslaught, our demand. First, she must inhale before she is able to express. The will engages a different part of the functioning mind. We enter ‘Doing’ rather than ‘Being’ mode. Rather than Psyche having permission to stream unfettered, we enter into a painful conflict. The, should-I-do-this-should-I-do-that, gremlins rise from the unconscious to rob us of creativity and spontaneity. Psyche freezes into a passive and congested state. Psyche becomes inert.

Screencap from Blacksmith Scene

Screencap from Blacksmith Scene

When in conflict, the tendency is to hammer addictively at the idea, as though we were blacksmiths forging something from steel. A good blacksmith, however, prepares his material. He heats it first in the fires of alchemy until it is ready for shaping. Likewise, an idea needs to be prepared and to cook into something that serves intended purpose.

Psyche cannot be forced. A direct assault never works. Psyche delivers in her own time. Sometimes, all we can do is walk away from the blinking, blind cursor that cannot yet see the words. Trust Psyche. She will deliver when ready!

And always do your research ~ sometimes we just don’t know enough about what we are attempting. We are not yet at the point along the road that intersects with another junction ~ not yet at the meeting point where the idea encounters the way in which it can be born.

(c) Niamh Clune

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamhchildrensbooks.com

11 comments on “Insights With Dr. Niamh Clune: Let it Cook!

  1. soziebird
    January 14, 2014

    Oh Oh ~ … “that alchemical transformation born of tacit knowledge, experience, learning, research, passion and desire’ … oh. So many words that I too find stitched into the fabric of days. Love.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 14, 2014

      Thank you for your visit and comments, Susie. Most appreciated. It is a list of words…For me, a feast, but maybe gluttony!

      Like

  2. Darlene
    January 15, 2014

    I so needed to read these words of wisdom right now. Thanks so much. “always do your research ~ sometimes we just don’t know enough about what we are attempting.” This is my case right now. So I will stop, let it cook and do more research.

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 15, 2014

      I am so glad to have been able to offer something of use, Darlene.You know as well as I do, that when you’re at that meeting point, it will all fall into place.

      Like

  3. Imen Benyoub
    January 15, 2014

    Oh I needed to read this it came on perfect timing..because i need to stop pushing over and over and as you say..let it cook!! thank youuuu Niamh you are a healer..xx

    Like

    • ontheplumtree
      January 15, 2014

      Imen, thank you for your recognition. Healing was my career for more than thirty years.

      Like

  4. nativemericangirl
    January 15, 2014

    Gracias Niamh for this soul touching definition of what I’ve been experiencing. I absolutely believe in what tú have so intellectually y poetically expressed in this piece. Gracias again. 🙂

    Like

  5. Daniel Vimont
    January 16, 2014

    As I mentioned over on Facebook, these words constitute very sound advice to ANYONE who engages in a creative process of ANY kind (not just the art of writing)!

    Like

  6. thiskidreviewsbooks
    January 16, 2014

    Thanks! This helps! I have about 5 first chapters for 5 different books that are not “good enough” 🙂

    Like

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This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Insights and tagged , , , , , , , .
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