Updated: Nov 13
Welcome to the very first post on The Intuitive Storyteller blog, a space where I will share research and musings around creativity and intuition with regard to the motivators and practices of writers. I am Amanda Hughes, an artist and storyteller who has spent my entire life sharpening my intuition and using it to develop art and stories.
Ever the lover of themes, you can look forward to blog posts every Magic Monday and Writer Wednesday. On these days, I will feature research and stories around:
the intersection of creativity and intuition
creative inspiration through the tarot
topics related to intuitive writing
As an introduction to the blog, I’d like to share with you a story around my personal experience with intuition and how my own internal antennae channel my creative ideas.
Since I was a little girl, I have had the gift of being able to “see” a project I want to create in its complete state. Around three or four, when I started drawing, I would see the picture I wanted to draw, and then I’d work feverishly trying to reproduce that image on paper. As I grew and started painting, in my mind I could see the finished artwork, down to its most minute details. As an adolescent, I didn’t have the language to explain how the images would simply pop up in my thoughts, seemingly out of thin air, inherent and aggressive.
Most of the time this fruition of a project occurred during the day, when my mind would wander unreservedly, pondering my nosiest questions about life, about the universe. I would ruminate on ideas, telling myself stories about them in an effort to provide them a place to land. Other times, the finished works would appear in my dreams. When this happened, I would wake knowing I had to create the project and excited about mapping out the route I would take to get there.
I still do this. And now, as an adult, I realize that my gift is my mind’s intuitive eye forming art and stories for my hands to figure out how to deliver. Today, my intuition is even sharper, faster. In my muggle job, for example, my director can mention a new initiative on which the department will embark and images of the outcome start appearing. That’s the easiest way of explaining what happens: a snapshot of the finished product emerges out of nowhere and with little to no time spent pondering the idea. Once this happens, I start making notes, gathering resources, and drafting a plan. That’s the fun part, figuring out how to translate the image in my mind into something tangible.
As a fiction writer, this act of imagining the story initially materializes as a plotline, with characters stepping forward one by one. I see their faces first, and then the scene unfolds around them, their bodies in motion, walking, standing, sitting, interacting with other characters. Until I uncover the role they play in the story, these muses seem to mill around, waiting. Most of the time, the plotlines haunt me. They stay with me, rattling about, poking me, and pleading with me to give them a home.
After more than three decades of writing, and even longer creating art, I’ve worked diligently at training my intuition. I understand it as a muscle that requires exercise and movement in order to foster peak performance. As such, my practice of choice is working with the tarot, a collection of seventy-eight individual stories that inspires unlimited creative possibilities.
On Writer Wednesday, I will share the origin story for how I was introduced to the tarot and its influence on my intuitive storytelling practice.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative.