William James wrote about the adult stream of consciousness as a psychological phenomenon. James Joyce used the style in Ulysses. Some say Gertrude Stein used it as well. Writing classes use it as a writing practice: keep writing for n minutes without stopping, keep your pen moving, don't edit, let your mind wander as you write. The connections, I think, are between the flow of the material, the personal nature of one's thoughts, and the continuous change of those thoughts over time. For a writer who uses this method as a daily practice, s/he might be able to achieve the flow of repetition and revision that will be exciting and fresh. S/he may be able to discover and uncover surprising thoughts. But it will likely take some shaping and organizing to get to the heart of the work.
When my friend teaches a collage or assemblage workshop she advises students to discard most of the material they've assembled. More is not better in this case; it is only more confusing. It is fun to intuitively work with the material, moving it around, layering it, but the maker doesn't have to provide every single detail; s/he should try to leave a little room for the viewer's imagination, memory, and experiences. There's got to be a way to organize it, whether by color, shape, theme, or in a way that tells a story, which might be through juxtaposition, conflict, or through a relationship between the subjects. Writing can be organized by, but not necessarily limited to, theme/concept, chronology, character, or location.
A collection is often a catalyst for a project; it automatically has an organizing theme. For some reason I have boxes full of collected picture postcards, stamps ripped off of their envelopes, and a clothespin holding a stack of parking permits, among other ephemera. I could pick one of these collections and group the stamps by color, for example, or postcards by location, or parking permits by date, then transform them by adding a story or poem, creating a traveling character, or painting on top of them. I could make a flip book or a flag book, something that would show both the similarities and the differences. Or I could take just one image and write about it (or color copy or scan and print out multiple times). Then work with it again from a different angle and continue working—repeating and revising until something exciting emerges.
"Repetition and revision" is a concept that surfaced recently in the "Plays & Politics" class I am taking. The term is used in describing a storytelling style in some of Shakespeare's plays, in jazz, in Toni Morrison's Beloved, in learning to play an instrument, and in the plays of Suzan-Lori Parks. I think it is also useful to apply it to bookmaking and think about making books that are like jazz pieces. Repetition familiarizes us with the material and gives us a way in. Change wakes us up.