How to Solve A Writing Problem: Sleep on It by Pam Sourelis

How to Solve A Writing Problem: Sleep on It by Pam SourelisPlease welcome guest author Pam Sourelis as she shares with us “How to Solve A Writing Problem: Sleep on It.” Enjoy!


Fellow writers,

You know how you seem to get these amazing ideas just as you’re falling asleep or in the shower or taking an aimless walk – when your conscious mind is resting and your subconscious mind takes over (and you don’t have anything to record your brilliance with)?


When You Need to Solve A Writing Problem

How about when you need to solve a writing problem? Do you give your conscious mind a chance to rest so your subconscious mind can kick into gear?

The next time you’re working on a piece of writing and run into a problem that is driving you nuts – something you just can’t get a handle on – try this…

For Your Writing Problem: Take A Nap

Take a nap. Yes, really. Give your conscious mind a break.

Last week, I had to write a new bio – one tiny paragraph – and had been struggling with it for far too long. I took a nap, got up, and wrote it. Done.

Or Try This: Ask For The Answer

And I love this one…

If you’re struggling with a writing problem, before you go to bed for the night, ask for the answer.

You may not get the answer on your first try, especially if you’ve never done before, but try again. And again if you need to.

You have a character whose motivation just isn’t clear to you? Ask.

You can’t find the words to paint a picture of your story’s setting? Ask.

The structure of your piece just doesn’t feel right, and you’re not sure what to do? Ask.

One Caveat

You don’t want to ask and then lie awake trying to hear an answer.

You need to ask, casually, with no attachment to the outcome. You need to ask out of curiosity and then let it go.

Your subconscious will take it from there.


Join my free Facebook group and join the conversation to support your practice of writing.

Letting Go: The Practice of Writing:



Pam SourelisPam Sourelis writes fiction and creative non-fiction and helps other creative writers polish their craft and navigate the writing process. A graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program, her fiction has appeared in a number of literary journals, including Green Mountains Review, and her many articles and essays about her life and work with animals (as an animal communicator and Reiki practitioner) have appeared in a number of animal publications, most recently, Natural Horse. She’s been helping writers in classes, workshops, and private coaching for over 25 years. Check out her website for writing tips and course:

You may also like...