Mslexia, the magazine for women who write | www.mslexia.co.uk
From Issue 42
Metaphors allow us to express and give form to complex feelings, behaviours, situations and concepts, which we would otherwise find difficult or impossible to describe. Using metaphors to articulate how we feel about our writing can help us understand these feelings more easily and connect more fully to our process.
Through the use of metaphors, greater understanding and connection can be achieved. Metaphors are expressed in symbolic language: symbolic language is able to ‘slip past’ the conscious mind and connect to our emotional subconscious rather than our rational conscious. Because metaphors work in this way, they can also be used to increase subconscious motivation and help us become more highly motivated.
Create Your Metaphor
Ask yourself, ‘How do I feel about the writing project I am currently working on?’ Write down as many words as come to mind. For example: excited, bored, intrigued, stuck, flat, patchy, flowing.
Now find somewhere quiet and comfortable to sit down. Close your eyes, take deep, slow breaths and allow your mind to wander. Consider each word you wrote down and the feelings that generated it. Decide exactly what you meant by each word. For example, if you feel excited by what you are writing, consider what sort of exciting it is. Is it like jumping out of a plane? Riding a rollercoaster? Climbing a sheer rock face? Going on a first date? Opening a present? When you do this, don’t worry about what other people would think, just focus on what you think/know it feels like.
As long as you wrote down more than one word to start off with, you should now have several metaphors about your writing. Choose the one that you feel fits best or combine more than one to create a single metaphor. Visualise this as a short ‘film’ in your mind, reshaping it until it really feels right.
If you are feeling negative about your writing, consider how you could change your metaphor to make it more positive. Then visualise the positive change in your mind. For example, if your metaphor is you swimming against the tide, visualise the current changing in your favour and you swimming effortlessly to shore, or perhaps further out to sea.
If you are already feeling positive, consider how you can improve your metaphor. For example, if you see your writing as exploring a chest full of amazing treasures, make the treasure brighter, more intriguing or of larger amount.
Visualise your metaphor daily, really feeling it and enjoying it as you do so.
BEKKI HILL is a life coach specialising in helping writers. She is particularly interested in working with writers who wish to overcome blocks, increase their motivation and expand their creativity. Bekki is also currently working on an MA in Writing for Children.
Visit www.thewritecoach.co.uk for free coaching.
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