Trusting Your Sixth Sense

Magic Castle

In all of us there is a bit of whimsy.  I know in myself, there is often too much, which if I am honest, it’s why I am always chasing the taillights of my own life.

I frequently remind myself I am the champion of my own destiny, at least to a certain degree.  I presume this is why I subscribe to the school of thought known as possibility.

Defined or Chance:

How will I know if who I am now is what was intended? Is cause the effect?  Or is it the person pausing at the intersection of the two and responding emotionally and ever after acting out of habit, maybe survival, the reason for this being, this writer I am now.  Is this unknown state of being I inhabit the destiny ever mine, regardless of chance or fate’s hands?

Why I am the way, I am:

My knowledge of the greater universe is limited to what I’ve gleaned from the quirky little quotes on every flap and surface of the Celestial Seasonings Tea boxes.  I am sufficiently enlightened to respect the influences cosmic forces in the universe have on my own life, or specifically, on my writing.

The sixth sense

Like most writers, I am always hunting the next idea or story, which is usually counterproductive for me as I am not a story chaser.  I am a story feeler.  On a box of tea or maybe it was my fortune inside a fortune cookie, I can’t remember which, I read:  A feeling is an idea with roots.

When a thought, image, name, word, or anything that feels like possibility, hovers, it’s my cue to close my eyes and allow the feeling(s) to wash over me.

Words I live by:

Use your head, but live in your heart and trust your inner voices when it comes to your work.     

 (Opening yourself to this process can sometimes feel as if the sea is crashing against your body.  You will wobble.  )

After reading, Claudine’s post—from CarryUsOffBooks—Balloons on BroadwayI gave way to what I was feeling, which felt a lot like this:

Tell me a story of magical mice, princesses
a fairy, a wand, a castle in a land far away
with a kind king, a grizzly bear, a witch, a
book of spells and a girl with magic in her heart.

She can fly and speak Spanish, bake heart
shaped cookies–filled with bittersweet chocolate
and chopped walnuts–the breadth of a saucer,
perfect for dunking into ice cold two percent milk.

Have her sing lullabies and love songs only a
prince would know to sing for his maiden with
raven locks he finds walking alone in the forest
along the river carrying a basket of berries and wild violets.

Bed time now, close your eyes and fly away on the wings
of white doves as they sing their song under the blaze of
stars and a full moon, with only owls and wolves to
share the quiet under the blanket of a darkened sky.

Sleep little one, sleep until the sun is high in the sky
until the evening cold is burned away by the red, gold,
and amber rays of the mid-morning sun; sleep little one
until your dreams are finished, until the morning is clear.

In your dreams, you will meet magical mice, a fairy with
her wand in the castle guarded by a bear and a witch,
watching for the Prince and his fair maiden riding the grey
mare followed by the girl with a magical voice and a book of spells.


I hadn’t planned to post my lullaby-poem but as I traced its origin I was reminded—for the millionth time–how cosmic forces influence my writing.  From me, a cookie or a box top, to you:  Listen to yourself more often.


Do you give way to cosmic forces and allow them to influence you?


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I’m a writer and hoarder of one-size-fits-all panty hose. Until the hose fits over my bum, I write to provide an alternative view on writing and perfection.

32 thoughts on “Trusting Your Sixth Sense

  1. I think a writer should definitely go with what they are feeling, and follow their intuition. You can always edit later, if needed..but the most enjoyable reading comes from people when their are genuine.

  2. k~

    Inspiration, intuition and a cup of tea… I like them all!

    For me it depends on the type of writing I am doing. If I am writing a report, I stick to the facts, flavoured with my take on things. If I am writing copy for an ad, I let my wings lift a little, because the end product is always so much better than when I don’t. When it comes to poetry, I just let go and the words pour out on paper.

    No matter what I am doing I count on my intuition to guide me, it seems to do a pretty good job at whatever I am dealing with.

    • K- I’ve a peppered past with respect to trusting my intuition. Sometimes I abandon what I am feeling just… because, but later when or if wound licking is required (as in the case of my novel and the rewrite) I hear a little voice taunting me….”I told you so….”

  3. I was raised to trust my sixth sense. My mom always told my sister and I to trust what we felt and go with it. I’m glad I do because it doesn’t lead me wrong. I have to admit though, that sometimes I feel silly for trusting it. Most people think I’m crazy for thinking I just “know” certain things and take them for absolutes.

    • Kelly – in everything I have done, I follow my sixth sense (except when I started writing, but you know this story). Upon reflection, I don’t know why I did not trust myself, I supposed it was part of my lesson. I do know what you meant about people looking at you funny when you say.. ‘I just know’. Very hard to explain.

  4. I loved your lullaby poem. As for me I always trust my instincts and rarely second-guess myself in life. If something doesn’t turn out as planned I look for the reason my instincts told me to make that move (yes, a paradox). However, I’m always second-guessing myself in writing because where words are concerned I’m a perfectionist. I’m trying to get past that to just write first, ask questions later.

    • Julie – I do think, but it’s just a guess, but writers are less likely to trust themselves but at some point we cross over some magical place and then… there is not turning back, our doubt goes of with the baby’s bathwater.

  5. Oh, Brenda … loved, loved, loved that romantic, magical piece, the kind king, the bear, even the witch, the wolves and owls, the prince who hasn’t given much about him away yet, and the girl with magic in her heart. Thank you for posting this (and mentioning us)!

    I do trust my instincts, which don’t speak up often. Either that or I’m not sensitive towards them enough. I shall listen to myself more often. I shall.

  6. June O'Hara

    A feeling is an idea with roots. I love that.

    My pieces have been rigorously critiqued for years. At first I was baffled about which suggestions to take and which to leave. It’s gotten much, much easier as I’ve become more self-confident and have learned to trust my gut. At the end of the day, it’s my piece of work. Good, bad or indifferent, it has to read like “me.”

    Thank you for another wonderful, magical, thought provoking post.

    • June – I think you are right, at this point you have to trust your writing and say NO to more critiques. You’re voice is distinct and you don’t want others altering it.

  7. I am a ‘story feeler’ too. I’ve learned over the years that my best writing comes from somewhere other than my head. It is simply channeled through my fingers (and my laptop) from a deeper wellspring. I love that you trust your own intuition to guide you where you need to go.

    • Karlo -I know what you mean about the ‘best’, loved this trancelike writing. I was reading something I wroke earlier and wondered who wrote it..(silly I know). I remembered why I wrote and when, but was surprised by how well it held together for a draft. Love that feeling.

  8. Love the lullaby poem, magical and lovely.

    I have learned, whenever I go against my intuition and my “gut” feeling, I regret it. Took me a long time to figure that out, alas, but at least I learned eventually.

    • Aww, thanks much Beverly. It isn’t something I typically write, but I quite enjoyed it. I think it would make a wonderful picture book. To bad I can’t draw or paint. I’ve come to believe all writers learn to trust themselves, for me it came after I stopped reading how to and only wrote.

  9. I have trouble with the comic forces (or maybe they have trouble with me). I’m definitely a planner, organizer and do-er. “Opening yourself to this process can sometimes feel as if the sea is crashing against your body. You will wobble.”
    I’m learning to wobble.
    By no means is your poem sad, but it made me feel sad that I missed the National Ballet’s The Nutcracker this year.

    • Astra – I tried begin an organized writer. Once I read some writers write everything on index cards. I tried this too and a bunch of other stuff while I was figuring out how to approach my novel. I realized it was me. Phew!! I wasn’t broken. My way of writing is to write it all down and then later go back and tweak or clean up. More work, but it’s how I roll. I missed it too – well the SF Ballet.

  10. When a thought, image, name, word, or anything that feels like possibility, hovers, it’s my cue to close my eyes and allow the feeling(s) to wash over me.

    When I read this I was like yes, yes! This is well stated. I love it. I’ve been writing about writing and it’s amazing how similar my thoughts are to what you said. Thanks for this!

  11. Yes, I sometimes do! And when that happens, I find the words just flow right out of me, onto the page (or word document, to be precise). It feels so good. Lovely post. Really enjoyed it, but then, what else is new? You’re so sweet, Brenda. I love how you write from the heart.

  12. This is a delightful post Brenda and I love the lullaby poem! It tells me you remember how to be a little girl, a young child. I also have to ‘feel’ something before I write, which is why prompts are not my forte at all.
    I left you a comment on my blog Brenda as to who Brian Burke is and why I wrote a poem for him.

  13. Brenda, I want to think I have a sixth sense that guides me; tells me where to go and what to do. Unfortunately, more often than not, I second guess what my gut tells me to do and end up dissatisfied with the final outcome. Not always, though. I think I do have to start listening more to the inner voice and perhaps then things will fall together seamlessly. Loved your lullaby poem!

    • I think it’s safe to say with the exception of my early days of writing I always listen to my little voices. Thanks for reading and stopping by. Poetry is my Waterloo, but I figure if I keep trying one day I might figure it out.

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