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Gwen Tuinman

Novelist

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writing life

Dream Life, Creativity, Self-knowledge

Twelfth century philosopher, Ibn Khaldun wrote that, “God created man in such a way that the veil of the senses could be lifted through sleep, which is a natural function of man. When that veil is lifted, the soul is ready to learn the things it desires to know in the world of Truth.” What a beautiful and comforting thought.

His idea couples well with the commonly held wisdom of sleeping on it when faced with a critical dilemma. Instead of making an on-the-spot decision, we use the period of sleep to separate our emotion from the issue. Sleeping on it is more than allowing ourselves an overnight cooldown period. Science shows that during slumber, instead of powering down like a computer, our minds work to synthesize the information and scenarios we’re wrestling with.

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Increasing the Odds of Creative Flow

In Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, Dani Shapiro writes about renowned author Joyce Carol Oates. Over breakfast, Joyce’s husband asked if she’d like him to read aloud from a newspaper review of her newly released novel. She surprised him by answering no. “If it’s a good review it will ruin my writing day, and if it’s a bad review, it will ruin my writing day. Either way, I intend to have my writing day.”

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On Writing a Picture of the Whole World

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, “I am trying to make, before I get through, a picture of the whole world—or as much of it as I have seen. Boiling it down always, rather than spreading it thin.”  As a writer, his sentiment about rich story content is at the forefront of my mind. I strive to bring something of value to the page hoping to engage readers, if only to evoke their own introspection on the heels of my own.

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