Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Writer’s Brain

Right brain: “I am the right brain. I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion. Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet. I am movement. Vivid colors. I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas. I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel. I am everything I wanted to be.”

Sometimes the writer's brain can feel like it's exploding--with thoughts, ideas, emotions, words, creativity. Everything wants to burst right out of the writer's brain and onto the page. It reminds me of the beautiful Mercedes-Benz ad above depicting the right brain erupting with color all over the page. The writer's brain can't be contained. 

They’ll love it! They’ll hate it! The writer’s brain relishes in arguing with itself. During the editing process and as I come closer and closer to sharing my novel with others, this is something I have come to realize quite well. No sooner have you thought: They are going to love this. I will be a published author one day, than does your brain tack on Maybe. Or maybe it’s terrible. No, they’re going to hate it! What was I thinking? This is the worst! And from there it’s just a downward spiral.

Whoa there, writer’s brain. Calm down. Get off the emotional rollercoaster. There’s enough drama in that book, we don’t need residual drama from you. But still, the rational part of your brain probably does not prevail over the dash of crazy floating around on the writer’s side.

So how do you deal with this emotional and dramatic writer’s brain? In the end, you step away from the computer, take a few deep breaths, and tell the writer’s brain to cut it out. It doesn’t matter if everyone else hates the novel if you love it. You have to believe in your idea and what you’ve been working on—and presumably you do if you’ve chosen to put so much time and effort into it. You have to keep writing and pressing on through all of the chaos of writer’s brain, all of the doubt that tries to creep in, and you just have to finish. In all likelihood, even if you do end up hating it in the end, you will have enjoyed the process and learned from it, and there’s so much value in that alone.

The writer’s brain is also impetuous and selfish. Demanding and dramatic. You must write now! it clamors. Now! There’s no time to do that reading right now—I have an idea, I must get the words out and onto a paper now! it screams. I am inspired! I must create! Again, “Calm down, writer’s brain!” you chide it, but it just jumps up and down eagerly, clamoring for attention like a four year old on a pixy stix high.

Sometimes you need to just go ahead and write down whatever idea you have because it’s probably going to sit there and nag at you until you do--or worse, get lost back in the black hole of your writer’s brain again.

Even though the writer’s brain can be kind of crazy, in the end it can also be kind of fun…after all everyone needs a little eccentricity in their life, no? Besides, if the alternative is engineering brain or something more drab from the left brain side, I think I’ll stick with the creative writing brain. ;)

In summary: writers are kind of crazy? But awesome.

Do you have the same problems with writer's brain? How do you tame the craziness? 

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