January 25, 2012

Achieving Synthesis, Part Two: Liberating the Right Brain

Posted in Creativity, flow in writing, Right Brain, writing techniques tagged , , , , , at 1:41 pm by Rebecca Hein

The right brain, if left alone, can do all we desire for our writing, and probably more. Since writing a novel, poem, play, or even just a short essay requires multiple levels of thought, the right brain is the best tool for the job. Able to process, combine, and recombine many ideas all at once, it will order our writing if we can just get out of the way.

I learned this first in cello playing, where letting go of conscious thought liberated my right brain to quickly access the memories I needed to achieve my best playing. To release conscious thought in your writing, you could try letting the energy of your project direct your words rather than the other way around. Or you could do a lot of freewriting, as an exercise in letting your mind wander. Either way, you’re likely to joggle your mind into a more relaxed approach, and that’s when you can expect new and better things to happen.

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January 18, 2012

Writing Class: Saturday February 4, 2012: Preventing Staleness in Your Final Drafts

Posted in Writing Classes, writing techniques at 3:28 pm by Rebecca Hein

Announcing an all-day writing class to be held on Saturday February 4, 2012

Subject: Polishing a Piece: Preventing Staleness in Your Final Drafts

When you’ve read a piece too many times, there’s a way to get beyond this to a deeper understanding of what the piece needs next. By engaging the subconscious mind directly in your polishing phase, you can learn to bypass the loss of perspective that usually hits after too many drafts.

Format: Telephone Conference Call

Schedule: Noon-2:30 pm (critiques) and 4:00-6:30 pm (discussion) Eastern Time

Instructor: Rebecca Hein, cellist and writer

Cost: $50.00

Deadline for enrollment: Tuesday January 24, 2012. To enroll, pay $50 via PayPal to woodturnedart@vcn.com on or before January 24 or send a check to Hein Family Enterprises, Inc. 10205 W. Hwy. 220, Casper, WY 82604. Postmark January 24.

Enrollment is limited to the first eight people who sign up.

For more details contact Rebecca Hein rhein@vcn.com; 1-888-921-9595 or
(307) 472-3120

Achieving Synthesis, Part One: Understanding the Process

Posted in Creativity, Right Brain tagged , , at 3:22 pm by Rebecca Hein

I used to wonder why my cello practice sessions almost always went better when I made no attempt to build on what I’d learned the day before. Stranger yet, when I let go of the previous day’s gains, I usually remembered them and could put them to work.

Something similar happens when we become totally absorbed in our writing. Forgetting all our plans for procedure or plot, we just pour out the words and often achieve something better than if we’d worked by design.

Why does this work? Because we’ve found a way to activate our right brain—the seat of our imagination and our intuition.

January 11, 2012

Tone in Writing, Part Four: Gaining Experience

Posted in Tone, writing techniques tagged , at 11:46 am by Rebecca Hein

If you’ve never thought of evaluating your writing for tone, and have no idea how to do it, don’t let this daunt you. In cello teaching, the first time I told my students to pay attention to how their back muscles felt while they were playing, they looked totally blank. Yet after a few weeks of trying, they adjusted to the idea and had begun to tune in on those elusive sensations.

In the same way, you may have to spend weeks or months trying to sense the quality of tone in your writing. Practice and experience are needed for anything new, and especially for something as subtle as listening for tone. Just keep going, reserving some time each day for the easy, undirected work that will establish the flow you need, and also liberate your attention so you can really listen.

January 5, 2012

Tone in Writing, Part Three: Listening for Your Tone

Posted in Practice Writing, Tone tagged , , , at 12:40 pm by Rebecca Hein

In cello practice, I start my warm-ups and immediately begin absorbing the sound and feel of that day’s tone. To evaluate it, I have to get moving and stay moving, because if I stop playing, then there’s nothing to listen to.

In writing, I also have to launch myself and then keep going. Since this is difficult when I’m working on a piece for publication, I mostly reserve my tone-listening for practice writing. A variant of freewriting, practice writing not only flows without obstacles, it takes little attention. Then I can reserve my focus for how the words feel as they flow out of me, and this is the beginning of listening for tone.