Inspirational remarks by Robert Carroll, MD, from his workshops on The Wisdom of Your Deep Voice through Writing: Turning Your Inside Out, August 2013.
Smell is our most primitive and most finely tuned sensory modality. Remembering smells evokes memories and images of our early lives like the smell of cooking in our family’s kitchen or the smell of freshly mowed grass in the back yard.
In my experience people bring a more open and inquiring stance to writing groups than to therapy groups because therapy groups are based on the notion that there’s something going on inside people that’s wrong that needs to be made right. Writing takes the point of view that what’s right is inside of you. Let’s hear it. This is the news. But men and women die miserably every day for lack of what’s found there.
The unconscious is built into your writing. Six months later you may take your piece out and say, “Oh that’s what I meant.” That’s another reason you don’t want to edit too much.
In answer to the question, “Where can you find other prompts that inspire you to write?”: As you read poems or hear others read their poems, circle what jumps out at you. Those will be your prompts. Poetry is everywhere.
We store the sensations in our own somatosensory part of our brain.Poetry encodes experience. When you unlock it and read it, the response is that it all comes flooding back.
In hearing a piece a few times, different words may stand out to you. What each of us resonates with may be different.
Line breaks are for effect.That’s the way we talk. Speaking is sculpted. It’s not just one word after the next, like muzak.
Training in poetry therapy teaches you how to select which poems for which purposes.
Writing from your mind’s eye is when what you see outside triggers something that you recollect inward.
If you feel like you have writer’s block, write what you see. If you feel like you need to go into a deeper voice, do some deep breathing.Writer’s block is science fiction.Anyone can write anytime. All you have to do it make a list of what you see, hear, smell, taste or feel with your fingers.
A good way to facilitate changing your state of mind: Take the index finger of your left hand and put it in your left ear and hum.When you block out air conduction, you hear by bone conduction. The blocked ear hears by bone conduction. Plug both of your ears and hum with three deep breaths.