“Stream of consciousness, narrative technique in nondramatic fiction intended to render the flow of myriad impressions—visual, auditory, physical, associative, and subliminal—that impinge on the consciousness of an individual and form part of his awareness along with the trend of his rational thoughts. The term was first used by the psychologist William James in The Principles of Psychology (1890).”¹
“so i’m looking back on this relationship that ended just over a month ago maybe less and my people are telling me it’s for the best that she dumped me that i’ll be happier out of it that i’ll be a better and more successful person without her because now i’ll be able to no now i’ll be forced to prioritise myself and my needs and i understand them when they say that that a lot of shit happened it’s true and we were unhappy and unhealthy for a long time but the thing other people don’t see is the pleasant and peaceful times and yeah we used to get wasted and argue in public and i used to cry and have panic attacks all the time we used to only have sex if we’d both taken cocaine and we were not i was not by the end much of a partyboy and it’s easy to look back and see the bad bits and i have to look back and see the bad bits because i need to get over it and not sentimentalise it because how can i move on with my life if i’m still thinking about the good bits and i think it’s a problem all my friends even fucking really old friends i haven’t seen for years it’s a bit of a problem that all these friends are being nice to me and telling me i’m a good person who people care about because that isn’t how i’ve felt for a long time and she said to me once when i was depressed and about to cry don’t do that my friend is coming over soon and everyone i told this to said that’s a bad thing to say that’s a bad thing to say and i was having this massive breakdown when she broke up with me and she wasn’t helping me and when she broke up with me i was going to kill myself and my friends took me to a hospital because they didn’t trust me and they watched me 24/7 for over a week because they thought i’d kill myself but i didn’t and when i first went back to the house i’d shared with her after she dumped me and after i went to hospital she’d left a note for me saying please please please call me i love you and even though now a month later all these conversations i’ve had with people about how my emotions didn’t matter to her and she broke up with me while i was having a breakdown it isn’t the time she said don’t cry my friend is coming over it’s the time she wrote please please please call me i love you that i remember all the time and it’s the bad one to focus on but she said it after she’d rejected me so” Scott Manley Hadley.
This stream of consciousness was submitted by author and poet Scott Manley Hadley. Neither him nor I chose to edit it because it’s important to let this type of prose writing just be, exist. I see it and understand it as also being therapeutic in nature too. This type of writing represents the intimate thoughts and feelings of the author at that particular time and place, so they shouldn’t be editing themselves (or be edited or even censored) when putting these thoughts onto paper. The most important part of writing isn’t about the words and the mechanics/grammar of it, it should only be about the content of what’s being communicated. All else after content and meaning is, secondary. And Scott has successfully and brilliantly communicated exactly what he was experiencing, thinking, and feeling at the time :)
“The term [stream of consciousness] was initially coined by psychologist William James in his research, The Principles of Psychology. He writes:
‘… it is nothing joined; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ is the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life’.”²
Scott has also created a wonderful piece of visual-video prose-poetry entitled, ‘Amsterdam’.
You can catch up and follow Scott Manley Hadley online at:
ALSO! You can pre-order his book of poetry too! Details here:
Citations and references:
¹Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Stream of Consciousness.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 3 June 2014, https://www.britannica.com/art/stream-of-consciousness. Narrative mode and psychology.
²“Stream of Consciousness – Examples and Definition.” Literary Devices, Literarydevices.net, 13 Jan. 2018, https://literarydevices.net/stream-of-consciousness/. Quote, psychologist William James.
³“What Is the Stream of Consciousness?” YouTube, The School of Life, 7 Sept. 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hu9L5zQ4g0Q. Alain de Botton.