Posted On March 5, 2010 by Print This Post

Use Your Intuition to Enhance Your Creativity

Creativity always seems like such an elusive concept to me. What force inside humans compels us to sing, dance, sculpt, and write? I liken my own creativity to one of those little Keebler elves—one who sometimes is busy creating perfectly round chocolate chip cookies, other times has decided to laze in the hammock swinging from that unnaturally green little tree, and other times yet has imbibed a tad too many tiny martinis and is sleeping it off in the grass.

Today, author Kelly Stone joins the RU crew to talk about writers’ creativity. She will give away a copy of THINKING WRITE for one person who leaves a comment. Welcome, Kelly!

“Women’s intuition” can be a useful tool for aspiring women writers, and men too, because it’s a link to your inner resources of creativity and wisdom. Intuition is your subconscious mind attempting to communicate with you and get creative material or guidance into your conscious mind. You might experience hunches, flashes of insight, or feel you should take some action. Your dreams may give you characters, plot ideas, or entire stories. Some people get a “gut” feeling. You may be guided to do something unusual. The late photographer Dorothea Lange got a gut feeling that she should turn down a deserted road in California while driving home from work one day. Even though she was exhausted, Lange yielded to her intuition and discovered a starving woman and children whose haunting photo became the face of the Great Depression. 

Intuition springs from your subconscious mind, and there are several ways to connect to this part of yourself that often goes unheeded and unexplored. You can direct your subconscious mind to give you a dream solution when you find yourself in a spell of writer’s block. Keep a notebook by your bed and tell your subconscious mind before you fall asleep to allow you to dream about the next section of your story. Don’t be surprised if you wake up in the middle of the night with a sudden burst of inspiration. That’s what the notebook is for.

 You can also induce the hypnagogic state to get in touch with your subconscious resources. The hypnagogic state is a naturally occurring phase of sleep that is characterized by altered consciousness; some people hear their name being called, others see flashes of light. What’s important for writers is that ideas that are not normally connected are seen as associated in this state. It’s a time fertile with creativity. To access it, lie down and hold one arm straight up while you attempt to doze. The tension in your arm required to hold it up will keep you on the verge of wakefulness even as your mind slips into an alpha state, which is conducive to creativity. Again, write down in your notebook any ideas or insights that come to you.

Stream of consciousness writing is a good way to access your subconscious mind. I used it while writing my novel, Grave Secret (Mundania Press, Sept 2007). One day, after a period of several difficult writing days, the character of Billy Powers simply walked on to the page. This character was not known to my conscious mind; he sprang from my subconscious. As it turned out, he was so integral to the plot that his appearance saved the story.

Heed your intuition because it is the golden key that opens the gate to your vast subconscious mind. Your writing will thank you for it.


RU crew, has your subconscious ever helped you solve a story problem? Do you dream about your characters? And what questions do you have for Kelly about how to ramp up your creativity? Don’t forget, Kelly will give away a copy of THINKING WRITE for one person who leaves a comment.

Kelly’s Bio:

Kelly L Stone ( is a licensed mental health counselor who started a successful writing career while working a full-time job. She is the author of three books: a women’s literary novel, GRAVE SECRET (Mundania Press, Sept 2007), which was called “powerful” and “well-written” by RT Book Reviews; TIME TO WRITE: More Than 100 Professional Writers Reveal How To Fit Writing Into Your Busy Life (Adams Media, Jan 2008), and THINKING WRITE: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media, Oct 2009) which demonstrates how to use the power of your subconscious for writing and creativity purposes. Her third book for writers, LIVING WRITE: Creative Strategies for Maintaining Your Enthusiasm, Motivation, and Dedication to Your Long Term Writing Goals, will be released by Adams Media in fall 2010.

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22 Responses to “Use Your Intuition to Enhance Your Creativity”

  1. Kelly –

    Thanks so much for visiting RU today! I’m intrigued by the “arm in the air” experiment and will try it this week. I’m curious if you have one or two other tips for our readers on relatively quick ways (like holding the arm up) to jumpstart creativity. Believe me, I need all I can get 😉 .

    We really appreciate your chatting with us about this topic!


    Posted by KelseyBrowning | March 5, 2010, 10:42 am
  2. Hi, Kelly. Thank you for being with us today. I keep a notebook by my bed for those three a.m. “aha” moments. It does come in handy. I guess I never realized I create those moments by thinking about the book before I go to sleep.

    Posted by AdrienneGiordano | March 5, 2010, 10:48 am
  3. Hi Kelsey and Adrienne!

    Thank you so much for having me here at RU today!

    Kelsey, please let me know how that arm in the air technique works for you– every time I mention it people give me *weird* looks 😀 but it does work!!

    I do have some more tips that spring to mind–

    1) Record statements into a tape recorder or digital recorder such as “I am creative” or “I get an abundance of new story ideas” or whatever, and then play this to yourself at night as you fall asleep. The statements go directly into your subconscious this way.

    2) Interview your characters! Visualize yourself sitting down and having a conversation with your characters to learn about their motivations, ideas for the plot, their lives, etc. This technique is used by a lot of the writers I’ve interviewed for my books.

    Adrienne– you make a really good point– that by putting the notebook by your bed you are actually prompting your subconscious to give you ideas. That’s a key point. The more you do things like that, the stronger the connection between your conscious and subconscious will become.


    Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 5, 2010, 11:03 am
  4. I love these kind of posts. And I learned something new! Not just in the article, but in the comments too. I’ll try that one arm up trick today and see what happens. I’m plotting my next book, so it’s the perfect time.

    Posted by Edie | March 5, 2010, 1:16 pm
  5. Thanks Edie!! Please let me know how it works out for you!


    Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 5, 2010, 1:43 pm
  6. Kelly, I’ve been told that I say some very strange things while I sleep, and have been know to blurt out odd statements upon waking. After reading this post, I wonder if the reason I experience writer’s block is that I use up all my creativity during my sleeping hours? Veddy curious indeed…

    Posted by Jessi Bacon | March 5, 2010, 3:36 pm
    • Hi Jessi,

      thanks for your comment! You might try getting a digital recorder and placing it by your bed. Ask your subconscious to remind you to hit “record” when you wake up and try to capture some of those things. A voice activated recorder might also help you capture some of the talking in your sleep things. Also try the arm up in the air technique to see if you can get some of that material while you are still in a semi-conscious state.


      Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 5, 2010, 5:09 pm
  7. Hi,

    The ‘other than conscious mind’ is such a profound gift.
    The dream world is amazing, as is the stream of eternal images.

    Journey well,


    Posted by Laurel Kahaner | March 5, 2010, 3:41 pm
  8. Hi Kelly and all…

    I keep a notebook and a recorder by my side of the bed..occasionally one of the cats runs off with the pen….=)

    i get some of my best ideas when i’m reading someone else’s book….is that weird or what? i think i imagine myself in the book and while my imagination motor is running, all these other ideas pop in. =)

    that’s my take on it

    great article Kelly, thanks!


    Posted by carrie | March 5, 2010, 5:18 pm
    • Hi Carrie!

      Thanks for stopping by. I think reading stimulates the creative flow. That’s why reading authors you admire is a good way to get your own ideas geared up.

      I can relate to cats stealing pens! Mine run off with my thumb drives from time to time. 😀


      Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 5, 2010, 6:45 pm
      • Kelly –

        Pens and thumb drives – now there’s a star-crossed relationship! 🙂


        Posted by KelseyBrowning | March 5, 2010, 10:38 pm
        • Hi Kelsey,

          I have destroyed 2 thumb drives in my life by leaving them in my laptop. The first one it happened to, I lost all my data and a lot of it was not backed up. I had a lot of rewriting to do! I have a 2nd thumb drive that got bent but fortunately I was able to salvage it, AND all my data is backed up on my hard drive. I miss the days of writing with pen/paper but found that it takes too long to transcribe the material, but I often return to longhand work when I need to get in touch with my subconscious creativity (hence my stream of consciousness tip above.)

          Thanks again for having me on the blog today!

          Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 6, 2010, 8:39 am
  9. Thank you so much for this fabulous post! I’m reading Time to Write and I think it’s already been helping 🙂

    Posted by Lisa Leoni | March 5, 2010, 6:22 pm
  10. Hi Lisa!

    Thanks for stopping by , and for reading TIME TO WRITE!! I hope it helps.


    Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 5, 2010, 6:46 pm
  11. Hi Kelly,

    Welcome to RU! I apologize for popping in so late. I’ve been listening to a lot of RWA workshops on CD. I’ve found each workshop (even the so-so ones) provides a new way to look at “crafty things,” which has sparked new ideas. I recently completed a major revision on a manuscript and employed many of these new ideas. It was pretty cool.

    I’m going to talk to my subconscious tonight! :mrgreen:


    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | March 5, 2010, 9:46 pm
  12. Hi Tracey!

    You are the winner of the free copy of THINKING WRITE!! 😀 Please email me your snail mail addy and I’ll get it in the mail.

    Thanks everyone! I enjoyed blogging with Romance University!

    Happy Subconscious Talking,

    Posted by Kelly L Stone | March 6, 2010, 8:43 am
  13. Very cool. :mrgreen:

    Posted by Elizabeth Simmons | March 8, 2010, 1:05 am
  14. Hi Kelly!
    I found your articles about tapping into the subconscious mind very interesting. A good idea, however, I worry that you may not see this as the most recent activity here was March 6, of LAST YEAR!
    I, too, am a fan of Napoleon Hill and while I’ve read a lot of this stuff, I’ve never thought to apply these principles to my writing…DUH, right? Anyway, it’s never too late to start, eh? 🙂
    Thanks again.
    Loretta M. Miller (Warren, MI-metro Detroit)

    Posted by Loretta M. Miller | April 7, 2011, 7:52 pm
  15. I have been enjoying your book “Thinking Write”! My son has a 2nd hand iPad he is sending me. I didn’t know why I needed it. As I read today – my 3 am ‘ah-ha’! came at 3 pm, when I realized the iPad is perfect for recording dreams, thoughts in the pre-sleep time, etc. Thanks for writing such an intriguing book(s).
    Emily – 83 years old and still learning!

    Posted by Emily Combs | November 28, 2012, 9:15 pm

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