Anyone who works in scholarly publishing with faculty members will sooner or later probably encounter the work of Robert Boice. I've blogged about him before, because his research on how productive scholars publish is the very best in its field. Today I'm re-reading his book Advice For New Faculty Members, which ought to be republished as Thoughts for Anyone on Any Faculty at Any Level, because trust me, there are plenty of associate and full professors who also need to read this stuff.
Boice makes an interesting connection between people who are willing to tolerate ambiguity long enough to get through the prewriting stages, and those who are hypnotizable. Since I'm a huge fan of deep-relaxation hypnosis, I paid attention. Here's what Boice says: "People who display the most resistance to being hypnotized display obvious commonalities; they are most unwilling to go along with suggestions, to suspend suspicion and disbelief, to trust themselves and the hypnotist. These 'low-susceptibles' also struggle the most as writers. Why? They have not learned to trust general images and rough wordings that could be put on paper or screen in advance of formal writing. Instead they work cautiously, looking for perfect sentences to begin with, listening too soon to internal editors (those voices of authority figures who remind us of rigid rules and standards about writing), and doubting too readily" (125).