07 October 2009

From Where You Dream

by Robert Olen Butler

I’m not a big fan of Butler’s fiction (Severance: What the heads of historical figures might have said in the 2 1/2 minutes following decapitation??), but his method of imagining it is another matter entirely.

If you’ve ever reveled in the incredibly creative nature of your dreams—the bizarre images, the chaotic situations and the way your heart sometimes pounds when you wake up, this book is for you.

Butler tells the reader how to achieve an emotional connection when writing about purely made-up events, including a guided meditation to go to the place where dreams come from, while remaining conscious enough to take notes. If the writer connects emotionally when writing, Butler contends, there's a better chance the reader will when reading.

In fact, he says, “The crucial awareness you must keep is this: do not will the work. Do not write until it’s coming from your unconscious. If you have the itch to write before inspiration has visited you, spend that time meditating in your unconscious.” I’ve tested his methods, and they work!

The book is written a bit like an afterthought: transcribed wholly from a popular seminar the author gives. But I recommend it anyway because it gives writers, particularly someone experiencing a block, one more pathway into the cornucopia of creativity locked inside.

No comments:

Post a Comment