Neil Sedaka Uses The Power Of His Subconscious To Be Creative

Today I was driving home from a meeting and was listening to BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon Show and he had Neil Sedaka as one of his guests.  Now Neil was on the show because he was promoting his new album and his UK tour.  I am not necessarily a fan of his but I had not realised just how prolific he was as a writer.

He has written well over 100 hit songs for himself and of course for others.  In fact I did not know this until the interview but he wrote the classic “Solitaire”  (“Now Solitaire’s the only game in town…da da de da de da de da…..etc).

He also wrote the classic “Way To Amarillo” originally released by Tony Christie and then famously covered by Peter Kaye during Comic Relief last year.  Now I said he has written over 100 hit songs – that is “hit” songs, not just the songs he has written which must number in the high hundreds if not thousands (on the assumption that he will have a 1 in 10 success rate).

Steve Wright asked Neil about his creative process and how easy it was for him to write new material.  Neil’s answer was very interesting because he taps into a creative source that all of the great geniuses I have studied used on a regular basis.  It was used by Thomas Edison and Leonardo Da Vinci amongst others (which is probably a good endorsement don’t you think).

And what Neil does is keep a pen and paper (and his piano!) close to his bed because part of his success is tapping into his subconscious.  During the creative process he knows that his subconscious will help him and that often flashes of inspiration will appear to him during the night (ever had that happen to you).

But what Neil does is he acts on them and often finds himself at the piano at 3.00am in the morning (much to the consternation of his wife) capturing his ideas.

This is an age old creativity strategy and a very powerful if not extremely subtle one.  Your conscious mind is only the very smallest tip of the biggest iceberg you can imagine (metaphorically speaking of course) and can only deal with so much.

If you can like your conscious mind to looking at the screen on your computer.  There is really only a few things you can usefully display on that screen before it gets cluttered and you become overwhelmed with the information presented to you.

However behind that screen is a massive memory and an amazing processor doing all sorts of things that you are not aware of.  Just like your mind.  So if you are relying on your conscious mind to give you a creative solution to a problem or challenge you are facing then really you have got great expectations of something of relatively little potential.

But if you prime your subconscious by considering the problem in its entirety, and EXPECT a creative solution to appear then you will have set in train something almost mystical (in that we don’t understand how it works).  The key is at this point to let go and trust that your subconscious will give you an answer.

Then you wait and at some point when you least expect it – probably when you are most relaxed or at least totally absorbed in some probably mundane task (like taking a shower) – an answer will pop into your mind.  This is why some amazing ideas come to you as you drift into or out of a deep sleep.

Now you must capture it in some form because these thoughts are elusive beasts and will make themselves available to you for a brief moment before they disappear into the recesses of your mind.

The geniuses of our times used this technique, it has worked for Neil Sedaka.  I don’t know why it works, I just know that it does and when I am seeking creative inspiration I try not to interrogate the messenger, I just let him (or her….or it) come to me.  You have a natural, inbuilt creativity and it is your birth right to be creative.

Try it and let me know what happens or if you have already experienced this, share your story with me.