Synchronicity and the Strangeness of Creativity


So I’ve finished the first draft of my ghost story novel. But I don’t want to talk about that so much as something odd that has happened in the last few of days of writing it.

To put this in perspective I need to tell you a bit about the novel. It is a story of a ghost, or possibly of necromancy, or possibly of shared madness. Its title, importantly, is “The Circles“. The circles in this context are levels of consciousness, the web of energy through which life passes to death and possibly back again to new life. The occultist in the novel talks a lot about the concept – it is central to his beliefs and his aims.

He also talks a lot about coincidence and synchronicity, which raises the question of where the first leads to the second, or where the second may be mistaken for the first. In the last third of the novel he makes the comment that the synchronicities in his life are increasing and that this always happens when something important is occurring from a broader, spiritual sense.

So, I’m busy writing that theme and near the end of the book and I take a break (for my aging back’s sake) to watch the latest Jonathan Creek episode I’d taped from the ABC a couple of nights before. Imagine my surprise when a central part of that is a text message saying “remember the year of the Circles”.

Still, one instance is probably a coincidence.

A couple of days later I’m reading through some of my favourite blogs and I come across a poem ( at:  ) that refers to gravity making everyone run ‘in circles’.

Hhhmm, I thought. Interesting.

Then, on a slightly different but related theme, I get my copy of S.K Nicholls wonderful book ‘Red Clay and Roses’ in the mail (which I am currently reading and it is a delight, I highly recommend it!! – the all important link is at:   ). And in my novel there is a psychiatrist that my narrator calls ‘the good doctor’. In Red Clay and Roses’ a key character, as I discover, is also called ‘The Good Doctor’.

Common enough term I suppose, but still, seeing it so soon after using the term in my writing was intriguing.

Then this morning I was reading Skye’s wonderful photography blog and find this post:  which talks about the ‘circles’ we get when computers run slow.

So, how many does it take to move from coincidence to synchronicity? Well, probably depends on what you believe about the world and how you see it, which also happens to be a major theme of the novel I just drafted.

So it got me thinking how strange the creative process can be. There’s a phenomenon I’ve read about called morphic resonance, where people simultaneously across the world come up with the same new, inventive idea, without any actual connection between them. I guess synchronicity works a bit like that.

So it really makes you wonder….. (cue Led Zeppelin Stairway music, LOL) – so I thought I’d ask my fellow writers – have any of you had strange connections and synchronicities, or anything else a bit spooky, while you wrote?


Helen V

About Helen

I'm drawn to blogging as a way to share ideas and consider what makes us who we are. Whether it's in our working life or our creativity, expression is a means to connect.
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22 Responses to Synchronicity and the Strangeness of Creativity

  1. ptero9 says:

    I had one recently while reading a book about letters written between Jung and Pauli. At the end of his life, Pauli was experiencing a lot of synchronicity with numbers and told a story about the number 71.

    This was right before Christmas during a time when I was listening to a fair amount of Christmas music on SiriusXM while driving home from work. I was getting tired of the two stations I listened to. Then I heard an announcement that there was another station alos playing Christmas music, of course it was channel 71.

    Then while reading another book after finishing the Jung/Pauli book, I was reading a paragraph that was very meaningful to me, and of course it was page 71.

    Haven’t had more since that one.

    It is a strange phenomena and I have never known what to make of it. Perhaps it happens when we happen to make a thread out of something quite ordinary which we continue to take notice of. I like to think that there’s some sort of alignment going on, even if there is no way to explain it.

    • Thanks, what a fascinating example. Numbers are often thought to be particularly important in synchronicity as I understand the theory. Who knows what it means if anything, but it is a strange phenomenon. :). 🙂

  2. sknicholls says:

    ooooo! The new novel sounds intriguing! Through your poetry (which I am not nearly as adept at, but love to read), I have always felt a sort of spiritual connection with you. I don’t know if ‘The Good Doctor” is such a common phrase, but people did use it years ago in reference to what they deemed pseudo-physicians, chiropractors, psychiatrists, abortionists even, in an endearing way.

    I don’t know if you have ever read any work of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He was a French philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man. In “The Phenomenon of man” and “The Divine Milieu” he examines the “collective conscience” and predicted the world wide web back in the 1950s. His work was not published back then because the church thought it was sacrilegious. Interesting reading though.

    • sknicholls says:

      Oh yes, glad you received your book and are able to enjoy it!

    • Thanks. I do think you may be right re a psychic or spiritual link between us…I find the good doctor thing very interesting, and I must say if my love of your writing is anything to go by, I would heartily agree! Speaking of which, I’m only at the beginning of your book but I love it…your writing is exquisite but so welcoming, it’s like being wrapped in a warm rug on a cold winters night and the way you describe characters with such precision but also gentleness if just sublime!

      • sknicholls says:

        How sweet of you to say. I wish I had your talent with words. I have both your books on my list, just behind two other books. Which one to start with…I don’t know?

      • You more than have my talent with words my friend. Your writing is exquisite, true literature but also more accessible than some literature can be. I’m going to savour your book, I can tell already. 🙂 🙂

  3. philipparees says:

    I once began my (earlier) blog inviting people to post their experiences of synchronicity. This was one that was baked earler!

  4. The only one I can think of is yesterday my artist son asked me if at his studio I would like to try some screen printing. So I said yes. He said find a design you like, he had several books to choose from, and and I did and away we went. Several hours later I am the proud maker of five individual tea-towels. That in itself is not remarkable at all, only that when I had finished I looked at the work he is currently working on and discovered he too was using the exact same image in his work. That I thought was amazing.

  5. A most excellent write dear Sis and I’m looking forward to your ghost story! xxxx

  6. I’d say only one not three or four. hear the twilight Zone music in my head.

  7. Ohhhh…how cool to be part of your synchronicity and strangeness!!!! I am so excited about your new novel. Although, I will tell you, I have never read a ghost story or seen a scary movie. lol You may have to pay for therapy after!! ::) Love to you, Sweet Sis!! I am so proud of you!

  8. phylor says:

    Morphic resonance — what a wonderful way to draw the threads together. I think of it as generic memory; that imprinted in everyone is a pattern evolving through time. For example, the knowledge to create bows and arrows in worlds and generations apart.
    I believe in synchronicity, and when the syncing juice is flowing, there is little you can do to stem the tide. A circle is a powerful symbol of so many things.

  9. sknicholls says:

    This is funny, but my husband is reading W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton. there is The Good Doctor in there and also a discussion about synchronicity.

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