Monday Notes: Rambling/Stream of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness is the name applied specifically to a mode of narration that undertakes to reproduce, without a narrator’s intervention, the full spectrum and continuous flow of a character’s mental process” (Abrams 299).

I’m leery to call what follows as stream of consciousness. But this is what my internal dialogue looks like. It’s innate for me to add periods and press the return key, even if it is in my Notes section. Does that mean it’s not stream of consciousness? Here it is. You be the judge.

***

I write about the little things because it’s the little things that keep us up at night. We wonder why we didn’t get the party invite, some of us even at 40+ still wonder. We worry about how our voices sound and how we look in video. You know who you are.

I write about the little things because they turn into big things. Little indiscretions turn into major experiences that we wonder how tf we got into. Small slides of behavior turn into whole acts of disrespect.

I write about the little hints because that’s what’s relatable. I save the big things for books: abuse, drugs, flaws of Christianity. Yes. The little things are daily. It’s where annoying coworker meets zen philosophy. It’s where wrong job choice meets law of attraction. I want to have discussions in the middle of those spaces. I want to know why you haven’t talked to your dad in 12 years and I’ll tell you what happened with mine. Hmmm…is that little or big? I guess it depends on the size of the hole in our heart.

***

img_7481After re-writing this as-is, I’ve decided it is stream of consciousness for me. You see if I were writing a final, public version, I wouldn’t use wonder twice. I would revise hints to things and probably not use things so much. I would capitalize Zen and Law of Attraction. I would have used the phrase “Christianity’s flaws,” not “flaw of Christianity” because one rolls off the tongue and the other doesn’t.

I would’ve titled this “The Little Things” or “Why I Write.” And I would’ve given more examples. For instance, I write about why people have a fifth drink when they should’ve stopped at two; three more drinks can turn a small decision into a fiasco or a lifetime regret. I would keep the rhetorical question in the end and add this: what I’ve learned is they’re all little things. What we choose to hold on to and how we decide to respond makes them seem larger than life.

Also, if I were being all formulaic and precise,  I would end with an MLA citation for that beginning quote 😉

Looking forward to hearing what you think about stream of consciousness or the topic.

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37 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Rambling/Stream of Consciousness

  1. Hey Kathy! It’s been two weeks now since I returned to writing daily stream of consciousness a la The Artist’s Way. I find it a great way to declutter my mind. I also find a lot of my thoughts boring and stuck on the ‘little things’ but once they’re out of the way, it makes room for a lot of great insights and tapping into something deep inside me where clarity and wisdom reside beneath the flood of mindless internal chatter. After 2 weeks, I’d say only 1 page on 1 day (today) has been writing worthy of revisiting down the track and editing and possibly sharing (on bilateral stimulation as I excitedly mentioned to you 😂). However, sharinh the writing wasn’t the goal of my morning pages and it is satisfying that I write much less self consciously (without an imagined audience) than the last time I did morning pages about 5 or so years ago. Ok I forgot the rest of you question haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is stream of consciousness because you wrote exactly what you thought. For most writers, putting in the punctuation is natural, so it would have lost some of the “stream” if you were intentionally leaving it out.
    As for the content of what you said, I could relate! The little things are what keep us up at night, and are often what leads to big things. And yes, what we think about our relationships and how much they impact us does depend on “the size of the hole in our heart.” Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When stream of consciousness takes you over it is like being outside yourself. Quite
    a wonderful feeling. Coming back I feel slightly confused and look at what I have written.
    Most of my poems are like that although I do edit them later.

    I totally agree that it is the seemingly small things that trigger our greater response and
    understanding.

    Thank you Kate for an interesting and rewarding article.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have always been fascinated by stream of consciousness and the wonderful ways in which it enlightens about a character. I often end up feeling like this character is a close friend, once I read such streams from him/her. I just hope I can write something like this too some day 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your SOC is very organized, more like an essay. I love the examples, they bring abstract concepts to life, hit on the “real” things we wonder and worry about. I write total SOC in my daily journal and would never be brave enough to publish it raw and uncensored. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Isn’t a piece of work that reads like it is an individual’s stream of consciousness, such as Virginia Woolf (as LA mentions) or some of Katherine Mansfield’s stories (such as in ‘Bliss’) usually considered and planned to be that way? Using apparent fragmentation and disorder to create effect surely doesn’t mean the author is necessarily writing in a stream of consciousness in psychological terms?
    I agree that soc writing might be useful to ‘free up’ thoughts, e.g. tackle writer’s block. Personally though, I find it hard to ‘let go’ of structure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. So, I suppose I would differentiate between literary (fictional) stream of consciousness and nonfiction, where the author and narrator are one in the same. Structure is just apart of who I am too. It’s like once you learn it, i’ts hard to unlearn it and write completely free from it.

      Like

  7. I never really stopped to write stream of consciousness. I’ve read a few around though, and i know mine wouldn’t be as organized as yours – yes, i get you didn’t think it was very organized by the way you explained all the things you would have changed or wrote differently . But like i said, if i were to write any, i know i wouldn’t stay in the same topic, for more than one sentence, so i think your stream was pretty neat.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Kathy your ideas streams of consciousness is polite and easy to comprehend sometimes did stream of consciousness its been a while experiments in which I used no punctuation doubled-up on words while my mind was deciding and leaping into other subject areas and seasoned with bad grammar and curse words a hot dang mess not for sharing with other people!

    I like that you write about “the little things” and agree that little things turn into big things. “Little things” keep me up at night, too, even though I know I shouldn’t still be worrying about someone who looked bored when I was talking about such-and-such a thing two days ago, or wondering if younger people think of me as an “old person” – even though I AM getting older. And all of the “little” aches and pains and revelations and trials and joys and signs of getting older can add-up to sleepless nights😳.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I just reread Mrs Dalloway. You really have to be in a mood to read soc….thought patterns are unique to the individual. However, for journaling, or working out a problem, soc is extremely effective. I often write things as they come to my head, especially when I do lists of things. And some of those ideas are worth exploring deeper….good topic and post

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve never read Mrs. Dalloway. But I agree about being in a mood. I read some examples in the literary blah blah book and I don’t think I’d be able to read an entire short story or novel written like that. Was Catcher in the Rye considered this?

      Thanks for the compliment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t consider catcher stream of conscious because it was a little more straight forward…I’d think internal monologue but I’m not sure. Soc can be hard to get through

        Liked by 1 person

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