Friday, December 18, 2009

Split Personalities

Yet another mental disorder that qualifies us to write is a split personality. So let's recap the other mental disorders that make a functioning writer. Schizophrenia or hearing voices. I don't actually hear these voices that many writers attest to, so my sister laughs at me when I lament the fact that I don't hear voices in my head. Let's not forget our God complex over our characters or our grammatical OCD. But the one I'm focusing on today is our split personality disorder. In all the research I've done about writer's block they all agree on one thing. It's the result of our creative and logical sides having a tift. Now some people naturally have the right interaction between their two sides, thus never have to split the two. If, on the other hand, you are like me, splitting and examining the two sides is a very helpful activity. Here is a conversation between my two sides. Nikki is my conscious or logical side and Rae is my unconscious, creative side or my inner 2 yr. old.

Nikki: It's too early to think
Rae: It's not too early, I just wish I could go back to dreaming.
N: Oh? Any good story ideas in your dreams?
R: Yep, it was a very logical woman dr who gets stuck in an alternate reality and just wants to get back so she can tell the man she works with that she loves him. Isn't it great?
N: Already been done.
R: What do you mean?
N: I mean that you just dreamt about an episode of Bones that we watched. It's not original.
R: Why do you always have to ruin everything?
N: I'm just being practical. No use wasting our time writing something terrible.
R: Why does it matter? Why can't we write for fun?
N: Don't you want to fulfill your dream of being a published writer?
R: I don't know. I just want to have fun.
N: How are we ever going to work together on this?
R: Maybe I don't want to work with you. Maybe I don't want to work at all.
N: *Sighs exasperated* I know, but you really are talented. Together we can most definately write wonderful stories. (Long Pause) Look I have some ideas about our middle grade novel, how about I tell you my ideas, then you can take the helm and I won't say a word until your done.
R: You won't criticize, or try to fix it, or tell me it's already been done?
N: I promise, Here's my thoughts...
R: Hmmmm, that could work, ooo I know...

And the creative process is finally beginning...again! I have a feeling this will be an ongoing thing for me, but it really is helping. To be able to sympathize with myself and realize the things that are truly bothering me, is very theraputic. Writing can't be done with only a part of you, it takes our whole selves working together. I'm learning that slowly and learning how to give my whole self.

Hopefully you guys don't think I'm too crazy for talking to myself like this, but I have a feeling you are the only ones that would understand.


  1. Yes, I do understand. Very much. I constantly have to tell myself that it's okay to make up a story. Sometimes I do feel like a child. But, it is fun and I just have to let go of that logical part while I'm writing and let it come back during the editing process.

    Fun post. :)

  2. I totally understand. I have two very distinct personalities. One is the shy, agoraphobic person most of the world sees and the other one is a kick butt woman nobody dares to mess with. I see the latter when someone messes with my kid or I feel an injustice has been done. It's like someone flips a switch and I'm suddenly someone else. It's that personality that keeps me up at night, wanting to be heard, wanting to have a voice and be creative. The first one is full of doubt and just wants to suppress the creative one and hide in a hole. It's down right frustrating, especially when they both want their way. Great post, Nikki. Where did you come up with the name Rae, is that your middle name? Oh, and I love the picture, sooo cute. I put some pics on my blog Wednesday of when I was 2 years old. Kinda fun.

  3. Nikki, I know exactly how you feel! I think that's why I have yet to finish the re-write for the only novel that I've actually finished and why I haven't finished the rest. *sigh* I'm working on making them work together. If only I could write in my sleep then edit when I'm awake, it would be perfect.

  4. Kasie-thanks for understanding, I always think of you as the kind of writer that has that natural connection with both sides. It's nice to know that you still have to force your logical side away from time to time.

    Christine-yes, my middle name is Rae, so that seemed like the best name for my inner 2 yr old. I like your post on the inner child too. It really does help to explore this other side.

    Sugoi-I really miss you. Can you move back? I too would love to write in my sleep and edit when I'm awake. I've been told I do my best writing in my sleep, so this would be a wonderful accomodation. If you figure out the secret of how to do this, please let me know!

  5. You have to be bi-polar, too, so you can experience all the emotional highs and lows your screwed-up characters do, at least enough to get them down on paper.

  6. Nikki!
    You are SO right about our logical selves clashing with our creatives selves!! Honestly...I have a clear and perfect example on that and after the trial, I as able to see what my problem was!

    It all started when I decided to write a romance. My stories usually have a very powerful antagonist, like an actual villain. But this particular one has no villain. It does have antagonistic forces--internal conflicts, like a true romance without some bad guy stalking them? LOL...

    Well, being so unused to this concept, my logical self argued with my creative side, saying: You can't possible write a book without a bad guy in it. A story with no bad guy is impossible!

    I argued: Yeah, but I have read so many romances where there were no bad guys and it was internal conflicts!

    My logical side just rolled her eyes and batted the air and said: BORRING! You need a bad guy...

    Guess how this conflice was resolved resulting in my MS being completed in mere weeks? NaNo! Yes, strange, isn't it? I forced myself to bite down and just write. It flowed and fit and flew!

    I had prayed for inspiration and asked for blessings to have this story come out as it has and I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father helped me with it!!

    (Maybe I could post this comment as a blog topic? LOL)

  7. What if you've got about 6 personalities you're battling with daily...?
    Just sayin...



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