A voice from another land.

I don't know how other writers feel, but to me the subconscious is a concrete thing. Not exactly separate from me, but there is a border. It is a voice from another land, communicated but crudely, by semaphores and smoke signals. My job is to catch the messages and to interpret them.

Sometimes it (that other land/other me) simply proclaims itself. Sometimes when I first wake , it communicates directly for a short time.

But most of the time is sort of fritters into my consciousness, little clues here and there. Sometimes the clues add up.

I feed the subconscious with my requests. Wish fulfillment. I'd really like to have an answer to this. Rarely is the answer clear and unambiguous. When something springs into my mind full-blown it is always a miracle and it always wows me.

In my first writing career, I had a visual image of a well in my head, and I could check that image at any time and it would tell me whether the well was overflowing or was dry. I mean, it was like checking the oil stick in a car. It was that concrete for me.

I don't have that this time around, probably because I've developed a process that more or less does the same thing. That is, I've learned that the well stays full when I write about 2000 words a day, more or less. More than that and I tend to deplete it, less than that and I likely to explode. Heh.

I've reached the end of Time In/Time Out and I have a crude idea of how it's supposed to go. Over the last week as I've struggled to come up with something better, my subconscious has provided little nibblets, mostly in the morning, most of it is following the scenario I've already got. The hints are tentative as if, "Nothing else to offer, but if you keep going you can do THIS."

I'm hoping for a big reveal. A huge surprise, something really awesomely cool, but nothing's coming. So as I carefully write each page, I'm seeing that it's good, it's fine, but dammit there has to be something else.

This waiting for something else is making this book take a month longer to write than normal.

While thinking about this on my drive home from my walk last night, I realized that this communion between my subconscious creative self and my waking self is what I hunger for. The Fictional Dream is what I crave, a separate land, a richness added to my everyday life.

The only thing I can compare it to is reading. I'm always reading a book, and to me it is a richness, another voice in my life, a fictional (or even non-fictional) way of thought beyond what I usually think.

Writing is an extension of this--only instead of hoping I'll find something to read that I'll like, I write what I like, and it is part of me, and it seems to fill a part of me.

Either that or I'm crazy.