Blog Stuff, Inspiration, Polls, Reflections, Writing

All ye, all ye outs in free!

And if you grew up saying, “Ollie, Ollie outs in free!” that works too. Yesterday, Rebecca came out of lurking to let me know she reads my blog through Google Reader, but never comes here to leave a comment. Her first ever comment was like a surprise gift. (Not that I lead a pathetic life or anything.) Now, I’m wondering if there are more of you silent readers out there. Hence, my little poll today. Don’t worry lurkers, it’s completely anonymous, so you won’t be outed, and only I will see the results.

In other blog news, I was perturbed to discover that comments on at least three old posts, in a row, have vanished. I have no clue how that happened. I didn’t realize they were gone until I shared a link to my post titled Here Be Heaven. Any of you other WP bloggers ever have comments disappear?

And finally, I’ve been pondering the seeming connection between water and writing. I’ve noticed many times on this blog and yours how often we mention that an idea came to us in the shower … or even while washing dishes. It occurred to me that water is an archetypal symbol of the unconscious. Could it be that being in or near water stirs up the unconscious allowing thoughts, feelings, and emotions to float up to our conscious mind? Anyone? Anyone?

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11 thoughts on “All ye, all ye outs in free!”

  1. I’ve tried calling out secret readers before, but they generally are secretive for a reason. I’ve only had one come out of hiding, ever, and she’s my biggest fiction fan of all.

    Water is archetypal of the subconscious? HOLY COW, Linda. I think you may have deciphered a dream I had once.

    Awesome. Thank you. We now return you to your regularly scheduled lurking.

    You may be right about the secret readers, Darc. So far none of them have taken me up on the poll … and I know there must be hundreds of them. 🙂

    Actually, water is a symbol of the UNconscious, but I’m not clear on what the difference is except that we are able to recall information in the subconscious, but not the unconscious. Where’s our resident psychologist? Oh, Caaathryyyn?


  2. Sorry folks, the water idea is wonderfully evocative but I suspect it’s about the act of running repetitive, often rhythmic, well-learned subroutines that require no conscious effort. Swimming, cycling, dog-walking, washing up, knitting (not for me – I grind my teeth!), painting walls, anything that can be done with little thought is likely to allow unconscious processes to seep into consciousness and so become available. That’s probably also why some people swear by doing their writing as soon as they wake up, before getting dressed even, so that the logical, linear part of the mind has less time to structure and limit the more random activity of the unconscious mind. Could be why watching fish works for some people too, and why both artists and writers are inclined to leap out of bed to scratch down an idea before it gets lost – which must be a real joy to their partners!
    Me? Pond, dog walks, staring at the birds on the feeder (and the rat!), sitting in my chair by the window on a sunny Saturday morning with nothing else to do.
    And no, I’m not a hidden reader. You didn’t guess that, did you?!

    But don’t you think some diversions work best than others for each of us? For me, during true physical exercise all my thoughts would be how badly I hate it … nothing creative at all … unless it inspired a murder mystery for the inventor of such tortures.


  3. Undoubtedly. It has to be such an automatic, habitual activity with no evident or competitive goal that it takes up no real head space, leaving lots of spare capacity for unconscious bubblings. True physical exercise (and knitting!) would be the antithesis of this for me but might work for someone else. And it’s probably solitary. Water often has a flow of some sort – a waterfall, a current, waves – and so there’s a form of white noise too that reduces interference from distracting sources. Rocking and humming are classic ways of limiting overwhelming stimulation for people (adults and children) in distress, and of course, we almost automatically rock infants to quiet them.
    Not that they subsequently come up with the best seller that will keep us all in the manner to which we hope to become accustomed!

    You said “Rocking and humming are classic ways of limiting overwhelming stimulation for people (adults and children) in distress …” I must be distressed most of the time. I unconsciously hum as I do housework (I know this because it’s brought to my attention) and I find myself rocking (as though quieting a baby) whenever I stand in line somewhere. By jove, I do think I’m neurotic enough to be a writer. 😉


  4. I spend all my time near the water, which makes me VERY happy. There is something hypnotic about the ebb and flow of the tides and I think it pulls ideas and thoughts out and forces them to come together.

    Or something. I just know I’m happy to be able to hear the ocean right now!

    You and Kirsten are torturing me!


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