Friday, December 23, 2011

Subconscious Existence #1

Let's not deny it, writing is a gift. There are certain people who are born writers. Then there are those who choose to become writers and, given enough training, practice and perseverance, they can do so. I am not advocating whether or not people who aren't born writers should become writers or not. I am not saying that born writers are better than people who work really hard to become writers. I am simply saying that the ability to write is a gift and certain people have what I like to call "A Writer's Mind." {reference to title, eh? ;)} 

Here I want to concentrate on the subconscious existent of the born writer, untrained as he may be. I will use a story to illustrate one of the attributes of a born writer.

When I was younger I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I did not realize all the vast areas to be a writer in. I was set on being a novelist, but I was not very good. I could describe a scene, but I could not make the readers feel what I wanted them to feel. In truth, looking back, I despise what I was. Yet being that made me what I am today. And I am a much, much better writer today. Well, I'm rabbit trailing again. It is time to slap myself upside the head and get on to the story.

I entered the house and frowned. It seemed bright and cozy enough, but something told me otherwise. The blood red couches and the black carpet and walls made me feel something. I could not place it. A black and grey picture of a child in the rain hung on the wall above the black entertainment cabinet. Above the red couches hung a picture of a stone street. On it stood a man and woman. Rain rushed down from above, splashing off an umbrella as the woman pulled the man towards her. The entire picture was black and white except for her lips, they were bright red.

Moving on into the kitchen I was confronted by bright red appliances and black marble counter tops. I was amazed at the wife's obsession with those colors. But I was even more amazed at the indescribable feeling in my gut while I sat in that red and black house. I knew I used those colors to bring a sense of foreboding into a scene, but foreboding was all I knew they provided. Ultimately my feeling about that house of those colors was right. The relationship broke and died. It caused great pain.

A few years later I was told that red symbolized pain and black symbolized death. I had discovered this beforehand, but the memories of that house flooded back into my mind afresh. Now I'm not saying anyone with a black and red interior for their house is going to get a divorce, but I am saying there was something in her character that made her obsession with those colors pop out at me. As a writer I analyze everything, most of the time subconsciously. It was my subconscious that was warning me of the relationship in that house and its ultimate end. The ability to understand color symbolism and use it effectively, to show and to know, is one of the subconscious traits of a born writer. By subconscious I mean without the writer having to concentrate and bring the thoughts to the foreground of the mind.

I shall continue considering these traits of the born writer next week. For now, may you all have a very merry Christmas!

Joshua A. Spotts


  1. Josh, this is a great blog entry! congrats!! :)

  2. This is an excellent post.

    I like to think everyone is born with the story telling gene, somehow...

    But most won't put in the work it takes to be a writer of stories. A lot of hard work that is, too!


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