Episode Summary

Suzette teaches national writing workshops that incorporate self-hypnosis for creativity, and she joins SPI to share ways you can make hypnosis work for you.

Episode Notes

Suzette Martinez Standring wrote the award-winning books, The Art of Column Writing and The Art of Opinion Writing. She is a TV host, columnist and the featured writing instructor for The School of American Thanatology. Suzette also teaches national writing workshops that incorporate self-hypnosis for creativity—the topic of today’s Self Publishing Insiders.

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Jim Azevedo, Suzette Martinez Standring, Kevin Tumlinson

Kevin Tumlinson 00:02

Well hello everybody, thank you for tuning in to another Self-Publishing Insiders from Draft2Digital. Now this is going to be an interesting episode, and I compel you, the power of my will compels you to pay close attention to our guest today, Suzette Martinez Standring. I think I got that right. Is that right? Okay. So welcome to the show.

Suzette Martinez Standring 00:26

Lovely to be here, really excited.

Kevin Tumlinson 00:29

Now, we’re joined also by Jim Azevedo, who works with me for public relations at Draft2Digital. Welcome, Jim.

Jim Azevedo 00:36

Hello, everybody. Hello, Kevin. Hello Suzette.

Kevin Tumlinson 00:39

Now this is an interesting topic, Suzette, and this is one when I was talking to Jim about all this, this is something I followed closely, read a lot about, studied a lot about. So I’m very interested to hear your perspective on this. But we’re talking about self, I’m going to read the actual title, because that’s easier than making stuff up. Self-hypnosis to unlock creativity. That is an interesting concept. So first of all, what’s what do you mean by self-hypnosis when you say that?

Suzette Martinez Standring 01:13

Well, I was certified in hypnotherapy back in 1990. Not to become a practitioner, but because I was fascinated with the power of the mind. How does that work? And during my certification process, I realized that there was a direct correlation to writing. And it’s something that I applied to my own career later on. And the idea is that when you are reading a great book, you are in a self-hypnotic trance, right? You’re involved, you’re in that experience, you know where you are, but you’re so immersed in that scene. So the same thing happens when you reach the subconscious through relaxation, guided imagery, self-hypnosis, to me, they’re all synonyms. And it allows you to really allow a story to develop in your subconscious. And you get in touch with the feelings, the emotions that carry that story forward. And you can actually gain novel insights into the story, if you allow it to come to you. So that’s basically how it has worked for me and for the people that I’ve taught.

Kevin Tumlinson 02:29

It sounds similar to what people describe as the flow state. Is that kind of the same idea?

Suzette Martinez Standring 02:34

Yes, yes, it is. It’s a condition, I mean an experience, that you can pretty much call up on demand, simply by putting yourself in a relaxed state, which is sometimes harder than it sounds.

Kevin Tumlinson 02:50

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Jim Azevedo 02:55

Suzette, is there a difference between, say, mindfulness and hypnosis? And is there like an east versus west, I don’t know, is it a paradigm or an ideology between the two?

Suzette Martinez Standring 03:08

I think mindfulness, self-hypnosis, all of that is in the same realm. When you’re being mindful, you’re just being more aware of what’s going on, and you’re being the observer. But when you are in a, let’s say a guided imagery trance or relaxation, you’re purposely putting yourself into a mindset of nothingness. And it sounds crazy, but it comes to you, you know, whatever it is that you’re mulling over or a memory that you want to write about. You’re just the observer. And it’s really a wonderful way to mine details, emotions, and a storyline if you’re creating fiction, or if you’re doing memoir.

Kevin Tumlinson 03:57

Yeah. So where do you think that comes from? Like, where is that coming from within us?

Suzette Martinez Standring 04:04

Well, when I was getting certified in hypnotherapy, I learned that there are two mindsets, the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. And the subconscious mind is where all storytelling comes from. The subconscious mind is where … it speaks in the language of pictures and emotions, whereas the conscious mind is all about data, information, analysis. For example, the people who are attending this podcast right now are in their conscious mind because they want to learn something. They want to say, well, does this resonate with me? Does this seem true? Is it possible? How do you do it? Why would we do it? But the subconscious mind is all about feelings and pictures. That’s why when you go into, let’s say, a self-hypnosis or a guided imagery mindset, pictures reveal. They’re symbolic or they reveal to you deeper insights. And the subconscious mind can’t be argued with or debated. It simply feels what it feels. And the subconscious is what controls our health.

Kevin Tumlinson 05:22

That sounds like my wife. I interrupted you, I’m sorry, with my crass joke that I’ll suffer for later.

Jim Azevedo 05:29

A couple of things you said there piqued my interest. I mean, it’s all piquing my interest, really. But you mentioned about the how and why. And so I’m really curious as to, why does this work? And then from there, how does it work?

Kevin Tumlinson 05:48

How do you do it intentionally? That’s the real question, I think.

Jim Azevedo 05:52

Yeah, I think we’ll get to that.

Suzette Martinez Standring 05:54

So how it works is, because the conscious mind works differently from the subconscious mind. And the way you access the subconscious mind is through relaxation. And when you’re relaxed, I know it sounds crazy, but really novel insights will come to you. You’re not consciously trying to create a story, you’re just maybe thinking about a memory, and I do this a lot in the classes that I give. Think about something you want to write about. And people will automatically think of a memory. And consciously they’re creating a storyline, they’re trying to figure things out. But when they reach that relaxed state of mind, they can just observe it, and feel what they feel, what comes up when they’re looking at that in their mind. And that guides them toward a story. And oftentimes like a prism, not a prison.

Kevin Tumlinson 06:55

Like a prison?

Suzette Martinez Standring 06:58

Like a prism, an aspect will come up, something they’ve never considered before, a fresh angle. And it’s like a revelation in some ways. And isn’t that what we’re trying to give our readers? Something fresh, something novel, something unique and authentic to the author?

Kevin Tumlinson 07:18

Yeah, there’s a saying, and I’m gonna butcher it. But let’s try to improvise it. But that if you feel it on, if the author feels it on the page, the reader will feel it when they read it. Something along those lines. Is that a similar idea? I would imagine that’s what you’re going for, then, like if you’re getting lost in the story while you’re writing it, and it’s coming out of that deeper part of yourself, that’s the goal, right?

Suzette Martinez Standring 07:45

Yes. You’re so right, Kevin. And I’ve written in the past, if you feel it, you can convey it. I think so many writers write from a distance. You know, they start to get all intellectual about it and analytical about it. But really, what you’re trying to engage everyone with is a story, an authentic, vulnerable piece that reveals something new.

Kevin Tumlinson 08:14

Yeah, so I am a pantser. I don’t plot or outline, I just write by the seat of my pants, right? And this is how I do it. I mean, if you were to ask me to explain it, I can’t actually explain it, but this is how it’s working. It’s coming from that that part of me. But does that also apply? Like, if I were a plotter, am I being too technical? And I’m not trying to drag down plotters here, we love plotters. How do you organize something that’s coming out of your subconscious?

Suzette Martinez Standring 08:49

Okay, well, first of all, I agree with you. It’s a big world, there’s room for all of us, I tend to be a pantser also. I have a general idea of things. But I often use self-hypnosis or a meditative mindset, you know, to look at something. When I take people on this journey, I take them through it, and then I tell them right afterwards, don’t write a story. Simply write down everything that you felt and saw and observed on the page. It’s like you go down into a mine, and you’re carrying that wheelbarrow full of stuff up to the surface, and you’re just dumping it on the ground and you’re taking inventory. You’re not trying to create anything. And I often tell them, It’s like a dream. You know how dreams are so vivid, when you wake up and you think about something, 20 minutes later you can’t remember it? Your subconscious is speaking to you. It’s showing something to you that can help you learn about yourself. You learn about yourself. You feel it, you can share it with someone else. They’re learning something about themselves. So that’s how I, whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, everyone can just take down notes really fast as it feels, you know, the fresh feeling. And then you sort through it later on, and with time, like a day or two, sometimes in a week, you start to realize something, and it really aids you in your writing.

Kevin Tumlinson 10:26

And when you say self-hypnosis, what are we really talking about here? Like, what’s the method? Like, what should we be doing? Like how do I self-hypnotize myself to get into that headspace? Is it about music? What would you recommend? I’m trying to drill down to the technical stuff. Maybe I should let my subconscious answer it.

Suzette Martinez Standring 10:54

I think for those people who meditate regularly, they’re already doing it. They’re already doing it. When you daydream, you’re doing it. How do you reach that daydream state? You know, like, where you’re just sitting there and something’s coming to you? That’s exactly what it feels like. For me, when I first took hypnotherapy out of my own curiosity. I was convinced I could never be hypnotized. I was convinced of it. My mind is so active, I can’t seem to ever turn it off. But what I discovered, what I experienced is that when someone takes me through a guided imagery, and there’s no work on my part, no struggle, all I have to do is listen to their voice and follow. You know, follow the directions as it were, it led me to a very physical state of peace and calm. And it’s a physical sensation. And once you reach that, you know exactly how to get back to it. Because you felt it. I always thought meditation was a cruel hoax. I would close my eyes, my mind would race, I can’t relax. But I think when you’re taken through it, it becomes easy. And then you can do it yourself.

Jim Azevedo 12:14

That’s so interesting. So do you think everybody has the capability to be hypnotized? Or to self-hypnotize?

Suzette Martinez Standring 12:22

Yes, absolutely. Everyone can reach some level of trance, whether it’s light or heavy. And I’m going to tell you something that I really discovered during my certification course. A lot depends on the rapport, and the trust that you have in the practitioner. Like, sometimes, you might, you could probably find people on YouTube, or maybe you know a hypnotist. I’ve had people say to me, I tried it, I didn’t go anywhere with it, because your subconscious is at play. And your subconscious knows what it wants. And if it does not feel comfortable with that particular person, or there’s something being said that it doesn’t feel good about, it will put up a resistance, and you’ll be able to go, you’ll be able to relax a little bit. But a lot of it has to depend on your rapport and trust to the practitioner. And a lot of that also has to do with yourself, giving permission to yourself to relax. If I were to work with, let’s say, take you through a guided imagery, and you’re secretly thinking, no way, you’re not going to be able to do it. You know, I can’t, because your resistance will stop that from happening. So it depends on, it’s a two way street.

Kevin Tumlinson 13:42

I remember watching an interview with, I assume he was a famous hypnotist. I didn’t know him personally or anything. But I remember him saying something that really stuck with me, was that when people sort of proudly proclaim that they can’t be hypnotized, he always felt sorry for them. Because it wasn’t necessarily something to brag about, that you couldn’t do this. It was actually, you know, you’re blocking yourself from an experience that could be very beneficial to you.

Suzette Martinez Standring 14:11

Right. That’s like saying, no one can ever help me meditate. I can’t meditate, you know, like a badge of honor. And yet there’s so much to be mined and so many benefits from that relaxation. You know, your subconscious controls your health.

Jim Azevedo 14:29

And science backs it up, backs it all up.

Suzette Martinez Standring 14:32

Yes, it’s all science. Really. It’s just that I realized I could apply it to writing. And maybe now there are a lot of people who maybe do that kind of thing. I don’t know. But I know that when I started doing it, I was one of the only people taking writers through guided imagery, to get to the heart of their stories. So there might be other people now.

Kevin Tumlinson 15:00

Yeah, I mean, I’m sure, this is all over the place now. When you go on YouTube, like every other channel talks about this kind of thing. Is this similar or related to, like automatic writing? Is that something similar to this?

Suzette Martinez Standring 15:15

I would not say that. I would not say that. I mean, isn’t automatic writing where you’re basically channeling something?

Kevin Tumlinson 15:25

Well, I think there are people who, that’s what they’re talking about. I always thought of it as being more, you know, I’m drawing from my subconscious. And I’m writing, you know, I’m letting that do the writing. But I could be wrong about that. I haven’t looked that closely at it.

Suzette Martinez Standring 15:43

I think there’s a parallel, I think there’s a parallel Kevin. And I’ll give you an example. I’m writing a novel right now based on my grandmother, who had children from a Catholic priest in the Philippines at the turn of the century.

Jim Azevedo 15:58

I remember you telling me about this.

Suzette Martinez Standring 16:01

And I have no other facts except that, and that is going to be the skeleton on which I hang the meat on. Now, can you imagine, I know nothing about their relationship. I don’t know how exactly that happened in such a Catholic country. But it was quite the love affair in the lore of my family. So here’s the deal. I put myself into a meditative mindset, and I imagine speaking to my grandmother, or my grandfather, and I say to them, so what do you want me to tell people? How did this come about? And I just put myself, and suddenly, I start to imagine a conversation that goes on. It’s almost like, I’m not saying it’s a real, authentic conversation, but it is like an inspiration, a writing inspiration. I imagine, what was the dialogue? I’m creating dialogue, realistic dialogue, that could help the reader understand how they developed a relationship. And I do that all a lot. Is that automatic writing? Well, I can honestly say, it comes a lot more naturally and easily than if I were to try and, alright, now he’s gonna say this, and I would think she’d respond with that.

Kevin Tumlinson 17:15

That’s, to me, that’s what happens with dialogue. So I have two characters talking, I don’t plan out, I don’t try to plan out in advance, like, he’s gonna say this and then she’ll say that. It’s literally happening in front of me on the page. So I have to do it. I can imagine that that’s the origin of that idea of channeling, you know, that we have this innate ability to sort of compartmentalize our minds to a degree and have conversations with ourselves that have answers that we don’t expect. I do it all time, actually. You’ve gotta be careful about saying this kind of thing out loud, because it could lead to repercussions.

Suzette Martinez Standring 18:00

But everybody has their own unique process. Right? And it all comes to the same thing. We’re all trying to create stories that engage our readers, however we get there,

Jim Azevedo 18:13

Not to get all woowoo, but is there a spiritual element to hypnosis? Because if you think about some bestselling authors, and even some platinum selling musicians, they say, hey man, I didn’t write that song, or I didn’t write that book, it kind of came to me, I was just like this conduit that wrote it all down. And just once it came to me, it just flowed out.

Suzette Martinez Standring 18:37

You know, Jim, that’s a really good question. And what I would say to that is, is there a spiritual aspect to it? Well, is there a spiritual aspect to mindfulness? Yes, there is. And so therefore, you know, I think of it, self-hypnosis, meditation, mindfulness, it’s all on the same shelf to me. And this is the hard part. I think, for a lot of writers. We’re so convinced and conditioned to believe that we have to create everything and we have to super edit, you know, overanalyze and over-edit our work to make it perfect. But if you can just let go, if you could just let go and let your subconscious show you what it wants to tell you, then it becomes easier.

Kevin Tumlinson 19:29

Yeah, the conscious mind is overrated. All the bad decisions I ever made came from the conscious mind anyway. So.

Suzette Martinez Standring 19:39

Right? You know, we’re not in touch with our hearts anymore, you know? And that’s the best kind of writing, where you feel that the writer is really coming from a place of heart and personal truth.

Kevin Tumlinson 19:52

Yeah, yeah. That’s very interesting. So walk us through, when you sit down to write and you’re using these methods. What is your environment like? What do you do to get yourself into this headspace?

Suzette Martinez Standring 20:06

Okay, first of all, I’m so used to it that I can do it at the drop of a dime anywhere. And I think many people who are used to meditating or start to get into this practice can do it also. However, I’ll give you a perfect example of how I used it. I had to write a column about the month of genealogy. And I decided to write about my half-sister who was eight years older than me, and I had not seen her since I was eight years old. Because her my father, our father, remarried my mom. And he had full custody of her up until she was 14 and wanted to go back to her own mother, whom he hated. And I never saw her again. So for genealogy month, I was looking for her, found her through her obituary. So I started to write this story for this column. And I remember thinking, what is the obvious takeaway for the reader? The obvious takeaway is, lost time, too bad, we didn’t have a relationship, we missed it. But to me, that’s pretty trite. Anybody could come up with that. And I feel like my job is, I have to come up with a novel insight. I actually put myself in this kind of meditative mindset. And I saw that whole thing happening with my father and my sister, and him throwing her out of the house when she came to visit at age 18, to tell him that she had a son, and she was getting married. And he said, you’re just like your mother, you know, you’re like a prostitute, get out. And I never saw her again. And so to me, when I put myself in this mindset, the takeaway that I came up with, and it came easily to me, was that everywhere, there are half siblings or family members who have cut ties and have not developed relationships, because of feuds between exes, between their parents. And we unconsciously have a loyalty to them, and we take on their rejection of others. For no reason, no hurt to us, only because we have this kind of unconscious loyalty. And that was the takeaway in my column. And I felt that it was, and I think that that’s the kind of fresh insight that can come if you allow yourself just to surrender and let go.

Kevin Tumlinson 22:37

Yeah, that’s true. That’s tough, though. Like surrender and let go is a, that’s an easy thing to say and a hard thing to do. Yes, surrender Dorothy. But so what’s your advice on how we get to that stage? Because my head gets in the way of practically everything. I mean, look how big it is. So a lot of knowledge, a lot of knowledge. Mostly useless, but it’s all in there. But how do I get past that part of myself and relax enough or let go enough that my subconscious is taking over and doing the job?

Suzette Martinez Standring 23:21

Well, I think that for me, it was extremely helpful when someone took me through a guided imagery. That was really helpful to me, it actually changed my life in a lot of ways. And it broke down the barrier that I, it’s not possible, I’m just too active in my head. So I guess I would suggest that, you know, someone go through, maybe go on YouTube and listen to a meditation. Try and get into that practice. You know, maybe at another time, I could give a show and take everyone through the experience if you wanted to.

Jim Azevedo 23:56

Does the person know when they’ve reached that sort of threshold, when they’re in that state?

Suzette Martinez Standring 24:04

Yes, they will know and I’ll tell you why. Because feeling, that level of relaxation is physical. It’s not a matter of like, well, I guess I’m quiet. No, you no longer feel your arms or your legs. Your body becomes very heavy. You don’t even know where your hands are anymore. But up here, you’re very alert. You’re not like a zombie. You’re totally aware. You know exactly where you are, you just don’t care.

Jim Azevedo 24:33

It sounds like flow state, like perfect flow state. If anybody has ever reached that before, it is that feeling of, I’m doing what I love. I’m here, but I’m just in it.

Suzette Martinez Standring 24:44

Exactly. And when I take people through it, I let them savor that experience of “nothingness” so that they can really feel it as a physical sensation. Then they know when they go back to it, they know what the physical feeling feels like, and they can go right back to it. Because it’s like you’ve experienced it, you know what you’re looking for.

Kevin Tumlinson 25:08

And you’re saying, this improves with practice, right? The more you do this?

Suzette Martinez Standring 25:13

Yes. But I have to tell you, when I went through it, the first the first time, second time, it was so profound to me. And it didn’t take a long time to be able to return to that state. There’s something about the physicality of the sensation, you know?

Kevin Tumlinson 25:36

Well, and there can be triggers. For example, I mean, in the early days, when I was writing for media, I had what I called my writer’s cap. It was this old Yankees baseball cap, and any time I put that on, I knew that I had to write something. And so that put me immediately in that headspace. So I imagine it’s probably similar. I mean, you could probably do something similar. Now it’s, as soon as this keyboard is in front of me, I know it’s writing time, or if I’ve got the camera on, I know it’s go time. So, you know, there are all kinds of things that you can use as little icons to trigger that experience. Would you agree? Or is that …

Suzette Martinez Standring 26:16

You’re right on, Kevin. When I take people through that relaxation exercise, I let them savor that experience. And I actually suggest to them, that there is a symbol that comes to them. It could be a word, or a picture, or whatever. A symbol. Think about that symbol of how this feels right now, and follow the place in your body where you feel most relaxed. Sometimes it’s in their hands, sometimes it’s in their heart or their stomach, their head, wherever, you know, it could be anywhere. And I have them put that symbol into that physical place, and then suggest that they can come back to it at any time.

Kevin Tumlinson 26:55

It’s like a desktop icon.

Jim Azevedo 26:58

When you mentioned that physicality, I’m like, oh, that sounds like the key, because I think for a lot of beginning meditators, of which I would include myself in that, it’s like you’re trying to find this inner peace and to kind of shut down all the voices in your head. And I feel like I’m just waiting for something to happen. But it sounds like with hypnosis, you kind of know there’s a physicality to it where you’ve kind of arrived in this state.

Suzette Martinez Standring 27:24

Yes. And then you just put out one question. You know, like for me, when I go into the state, and I want to know, what would my grandfather have said? Or what would my grandmother have said? And then it’s like, I imagine talking to them and saying, what do you want me to tell people? And then I imagine, okay, you know, here’s the situation, and they’re talking to each other. And I can see that, and I could see the appeal of them to each other physically. And maybe she’s very engaging. And she likes his seriousness or whatever. But it comes.

Kevin Tumlinson 28:07

Yeah. You mentioned questions. Speaking of questions, that’s my segue. We’ve had a couple of comments and questions. Let’s take a look at some. First, Judith. Judith says, “I frequently use meditation when I get stuck in my writing.” Sounds like a pretty good use for it. That leads to a question, though. So is this a cure for writer’s block?

Suzette Martinez Standring 28:33

I think it’s a very good remedy for writer’s block. And I’m not going to say writer’s block will forever disappear. But it’s a great remedy for it. And you have to also say, remember, your subconscious mind is all about feeling and pictures, right? And your conscious mind is probably going to still try to get in there, going, you’re wasting time. You shouldn’t be doing this, why are you relaxing? Get to it, nothing is happening. You got to be aware that that is going to happen, and that maybe you won’t get your inspiration at that moment. Maybe it’ll come later on while you’re eating lunch. You know, you’ll have an aha or an epiphany tomorrow. That kind of thing.

Kevin Tumlinson 29:21

Problem solving, automatic problem solving. Yeah. LFX Media asks, “Is this something totally in the creative realm? Or will your conscious allow similar scenarios to exist? Like an image you saw elsewhere, but want to scale up?”

Suzette Martinez Standring 29:39

I think so. You know, we all look at things very differently, right? You could look at a photo or a picture or something in nature, and it will remind you of something else. Something more insightful, something deep. So yeah, I think it can be. It’s a definite tool. The conscious and subconscious mind are not mutually exclusive. It’s really nice when they can kind of come together, where you are going to be using your conscious mind for good writing techniques, things that you’ve learned, and the subconscious as a place of inspiration.

Kevin Tumlinson 30:23

Yeah. How do we get these two kids talking more, though? Like, how do I get my conscious mind and subconscious mind to be more in sync with each other, so that I’m always in that state of self-hypnosis?

Suzette Martinez Standring 30:37

Well, I think number one, one can try to become more in touch with their subconscious. I think we’re all really super in with our conscious mind, which is why we have that kind of gerbil in a bathtub on fire kind of negativity in our head, you know. So, number one, I think we have to give our self permission and to trust ourselves. That’s what it’s all about. Because the subconscious is all about the symbolism, intuition, feelings. And we often negate how we feel, because we think that’s not very smart. That’s not very intellectual, that won’t be accepted. I mean, I went out on a limb, I taught a class at Stanford recently on Zoom. And they wanted me to talk about opinion writing. And I basically said, I want to take everybody through a guided imagery exercise, I want them to experience it for themselves, so that they can write a more insightful opinion. I was going out on a limb. This is Stanford. But it worked. And the instructor really got something out of it personally. She said she was going to approach her own op ed very differently.

Kevin Tumlinson 31:57

Stanford, I just imagine everybody pulling out like a graphing calculator and a slide rule. Alright, opinions. Sorry, I have an outdated idea of Stanford, I think. Now, Heather has snuck in a twofer. So let’s get to it. She’s got two comments, not questions. We’ll see where these lead. “I use meditation for relaxation, but also for writing inspiration. The practice of making art can be meditation.” I think that’s true.

Suzette Martinez Standring 32:26

I totally think that’s true.

Kevin Tumlinson 32:29

That’s totally, that’s the only meditation I know how to do, actually.

Suzette Martinez Standring 32:33

Yes. And, you know, I have actually spoken to other writers who will doodle or draw for a while or paint something before they actually start writing.

Kevin Tumlinson 32:45

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I agree. Yeah. Okay, sorry. I lost track. And so I now have to loop back. So Jim, did you have any other questions or things maybe I haven’t hit on yet?

Jim Azevedo 33:01

Oh, no, that’s fine. I was just gonna tell Suzette that like, for the longest time, let me back up a little bit and say when I was kind of refreshing my memory on your background … Because, for those who don’t know, she was a newspaper columnist, she’s an author, she presents workshops and she’s a public speaker. She’s does stand-up comedy sometimes.

Suzette Martinez Standring 33:23

Sashay, sashay. Sashayer into stand-up comedy.

Jim Azevedo 33:28

But I didn’t realize, Suzette, that you were certified in hypnotherapy way before your columnist writing even began. So you’ve been doing this a long time.

Suzette Martinez Standring 33:40

Yes. And I took it like I told you out of curiosity, because I have a tremendous interest in holistic practices. I’m also a Reiki practitioner. But it’s because I want to understand, when your conscious mind says, you can’t suggest somebody stop smoking and then they do, but then they do through hypnosis. How the heck does that work?

Jim Azevedo 34:01

You know, that’s one of the use cases for hypnosis. And I have to admit that I was one of the guys who was kind of skeptical when it came to hypnosis because I think we’re so used to seeing these images of like the carnival hypnotist with the watch and training people to walk like chickens in movies and just silly stuff like that. So that we don’t pay as much attention to the real-world applications and how useful it can truly be.

Suzette Martinez Standring 34:28

And there is a big difference between therapeutic hypnosis, like what when I’m applying, and entertainment hypnosis. But here’s something that I did learn about that. Stage hypnotists are very practiced in reading people, and they cannot make you do anything you don’t want to do. But if you’re open to getting up on a table and clucking like a chicken, all hypnosis does is remove the inhibitions and allows you to do that. And you would have done it any way, if given half the chance.

Kevin Tumlinson 35:03

This is why I want to white label my own brand of bourbon called Hypnosis Bourbon. Because that’s how I remove my inhibitions.

Jim Azevedo 35:14

To tag on top of that, if someone is truly interested in finding someone like yourself, who may be certified in the practice, where should they start their search?

Suzette Martinez Standring 35:25

Well, I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I would say that if they want to explore feeling, going through meditation or whatever, anybody can be on YouTube, you know, and I think I actually did do a hypnosis YouTube video, taking people through it, and I can send you the link later on, if you want to share that. But I don’t really know. I know that I’ve done it. And like you say, Kevin, it’s everywhere now.

Jim Azevedo 35:58

That’s fine. I just thought people should know the difference between …

Suzette Martinez Standring 36:02

I don’t know that regular hypnotherapists really apply this to writing. You know, one time I gave this this program at the Erma Bombeck writers workshop to 350 people. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh, I’m not sure this is going to work. But it did. And the one thing I will also say is that your subconscious is very powerful and self-protective, it will not allow you to deal with anything you’re not ready to deal with. But if something comes up, it might be your inner self saying, I think you’re ready to write about this.

Kevin Tumlinson 36:38

Oh, that’s interesting. That’s interesting, using it as a kind of gauge to see if you’re ready to confront something, or ready to deal with it.

Suzette Martinez Standring 36:47

Somebody did come up to me at the conference and said she went upstairs to write about a trauma that happened to her in her childhood. And it was the first time she’s ever addressed it. And she wrote for a long time upstairs. So she was ready.

Kevin Tumlinson 37:02

Yeah. Can you use this as a means of getting to that place? Like getting ready to talk about something?

Suzette Martinez Standring 37:10

Yes. Because I think that a lot of writers have very deep experiences that they want to share, but maybe they’re a little afraid. And so if you get into a meditation state and ask yourself, you know, or go back to a memory, if it all comes flooding out, and there’s all these insights, then your subconscious is taking you by the hand and saying, look, there’s all this stuff. It’s okay. Write about it. But if you’re running into a block, you know, I can’t even see it. I can’t remember. Maybe your subconscious is saying, not ready yet.

Kevin Tumlinson 37:49

Yeah. Great. And that’s a good point. You know, resistance is usually some signal on its own. Like, if you’re feeling reluctant about something, it may be your subconscious telling you to back off. I feel like in my daily life, I feel like I get a lot of little synchronicities and clues and things that kind of guide me, guideposts for making decisions and that sort of thing. And that has to be related. I mean, that has to be within the same vein, or am I completely off base?

Suzette Martinez Standring 38:23

Oh, no, I read the signs too. I’m constantly looking for signs. I often tell my higher power, you know, God. Hey, can you make it clear? I’m not that smart.

Kevin Tumlinson 38:35

He’s well aware that I’m not that smart. But also I feel like, and it sounds like you do as well, but I mean, I approach this from a spiritual point of view. But even if you weren’t spiritual about it, your subconscious tends to look for it. What other language would it have besides symbolism and coincidence, right? Sorry, it looked like you were gonna say something.

Suzette Martinez Standring 39:03

You’re right on, Kevin. Symbols, you know, sending you signs, coincidences, feelings about something. Sometimes I’m somewhere in the middle of whatever, something very different, and something will come to me. Why don’t I call this person right now? And I think they could help me with something. Boom, and they’re on the other line.

Kevin Tumlinson 39:29

I have an absolute rule, and I obey it 100% now. I didn’t always, but if I have a dream about someone, if someone pops into my head randomly, I reach out. Maybe it’s a text, usually it’s a text, but I might send an email, I might even make a phone call. But I can’t tell you how often that has happened. And it just was one of those like, you know, I’m so glad you called, or it’s so weird that you called, because I was just thinking this. So I do that every time. Listen to your subconscious.

Suzette Martinez Standring 40:02

That’s great. And you know, it’s a form of, if you believe that on some level, we’re all interconnected. And there is also a thing where some people are very powerful receivers. And so you’re kind of receiving through intuition or whatever, and you’re acting on it. And every time you act on it, it becomes stronger. Because something deep inside says, he’s listening. I’m going to send more. And that’s how it works. We open up.

Kevin Tumlinson 40:33

So we’re getting close to time. I want to make sure we talk about where people can find you online. Now, I found this website. Is this you? So that’s readsuzette.com. How many books do you have out?

Suzette Martinez Standring 40:51

At this time I have two. The Art of Column Writing and The Art of Opinion Writing.

Kevin Tumlinson 40:57

And where are your columns appearing?

Suzette Martinez Standring 41:00

Well, I’ve been writing for The Patriot Ledger. If you Google Patriot Ledger Suzette Standring, a lot of my stuff will come up.

Kevin Tumlinson 41:08

We should have you on at some point just to talk about column writing, because that is something I’ve always been … I’ve done columns, I’ve had several columns in the past, newspapers and blogs, etc. But I’m always interested in talking to people about that, we could probably go off on that for a while.

Suzette Martinez Standring 41:27

And especially with the explosion of bloggers, I mean, everybody’s blogging, and how do you differentiate between a blog post and a column? You know, that kind of thing.

Jim Azevedo 41:40

Sorry. I was just gonna ask, when are you planning to get the novel out, Suzette? Not to put you on the spot, but it sounds like …

Suzette Martinez Standring 41:45

I’m halfway through now. I’m halfway through now. And I’ve just made some, I’m creating some pivotal events that sends everything in motion. So we’ll see. I gotta I really got to put myself into a trance with this one.

Kevin Tumlinson 42:00

Yeah, come on subconscious, kick in here. I need a plot twist. All right. Well, everybody, make sure you check out Suzette’s work at readsuzette.com. That’s a great domain name, by the way. It’s like a call to action as well as a destination.

Suzette Martinez Standring 42:18

Thank you, Kevin.

Kevin Tumlinson 42:19

Now I’ve gotta go register readkevin.com.

Suzette Martinez Standring 42:23

Someone will go buy it and then charge you too much for it.

Kevin Tumlinson 42:27

No, no one heard that. No one rush out and buy that before I have an opportunity to. Anything else you want to throw in before we … anything you want promote, or anything you want to offer anybody?

Suzette Martinez Standring 42:41

I would just say that it’s been so much fun to be here. And I am really excited about Draft2Digital, because I’ve made the decision that when I do publish my book, it’s going to be through you guys. I love it. Love what you’re doing.

Jim Azevedo 42:56

And I’ve got to publicly apologize to Suzette, because I think it was back in December of last year, about a year ago, when she first reached out to me, like, hey, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists is having their conference again, we’re all gonna get together again finally after COVID. Can you do it? And that’s when the Draft2Digital and Smashwords merger talks were just starting to kind of come together. And I was like, yes, I want to be there. But I don’t know if I can yet. And Suzette was like, why not? Like why don’t you know?

Suzette Martinez Standring 43:28

You did a fantastic job. I’m telling you. It was so revelatory. It was wonderful. I’m sold.

Kevin Tumlinson 43:35

Yeah, we want to convince all those columnists that they should be publishing. You have tons of work, you cshould definitely publish it.

Jim Azevedo 43:43

I’m just sorry I had to string you along for so long without a commitment.

Suzette Martinez Standring 43:46

That was like corporate secrecy at the time. I totally get that.

Kevin Tumlinson 43:52

All right. Well, Suzette, thank you so much for being a part of the show. And this was a great interview. And every I’m seeing all kinds of comments about how interesting it was. And everyone wants to see you come back. So we’ll definitely have to make that happen. We’ll do a guided meditation one day, we’ll do that.

Suzette Martinez Standring 44:08

Oh, yeah. I’ll do that. I would totally love that. Thank you so much. It really was wonderful to be with you today.

Kevin Tumlinson 44:15

Absolutely. Hold on, let’s not rush through out the door just yet. We’re gonna say our goodbyes. But everybody else, everybody watching, thank you for tuning in. Make sure that you tune in every week. We do these every week, we’re probably going to take a little break over the Thanksgiving holiday, but you’re probably safe in tuning in. Make sure you bookmark D2Dlive.com so that you know when these are happening, you see a little schedule of events there. And then as far as everything else, make sure you like, share, comment and subscribe everywhere that you find this. That’s it. That’s it. That’s all the technical stuff. So we’re gonna roll on out, thanks again everybody for being a part of the show.

Suzette Martinez Standring 45:04

I had so much fun.

Kevin Tumlinson 45:06

Had a blast. Take care everybody.

Suzette Martinez Standring 45:09

Bye, thank you.