Ensouling language

Stephen Harrod Buhner Creativity


  • practice “feeling” various things
  • alternate visual description with felt description (moves toward analogical thinking)
  • do this and then move toward the topic of an archetypal world (an experiment)
  • pick out words that are especially alive
  • do that and then write a poem with them
  • rewrite several times, looking for the most living parts
  • notice the feeling of something being right (finding what you’re looking for)
  • use this feeling to check for a match between your language and your subject
  • revise anything by finding the most living parts and enhancing/building around them

Stages of a writing project:

  • shitty first draft
  • read for eros, what needs to be more exciting
  • read for cliched thinking, bias and personal baggage
  • read for hesitancy
  • read for feel of imagery, language
  • notice symbols and foreshadowing, work to weave in more fully
  • read for pace and flow, any rough transitions

structure of writing mirrors the message

metaphor as magical thinking

nonfiction structured around a peak experience, similar to a novel

most of this will happen on its own

Don’t tell the reader what to think about things. This has me thinking about alchemical moments in conflict. Maybe it’s a good idea to keep the reader engaged and help them feel regulated long enough to consider various points of view and reach their own insights.

Also interesting discussion of symbol and foreshadowing in nonfiction. Besides writing, it’s making me think a lot about foreshadowing in hypnotic metaphor and wonder about possibilities for applying that.

The nature of this note situation is that some of the notes will always be extremely unfinished.
Questions? Comments? Write to me at lauradawngyre@gmail.com (or @me).