Saturday, December 3, 2011

Working Both Sides of Your Brain & the Indie Author

Writing is all about using both sides of your brain. While each of us has a predominant side we excel in very few can excel in both.

We struggle trying to train our weaker side into shape as we do various tasks within the writing arena. Creation, analyzing, editing, formatting, plotting, and just typing it all out uses either side.

I can actually focus my brain on both sides at the same time. I have no idea of what my average brain use percentage is, but I'm betting it's pretty high. I've been in Mensa for a few decades. The last IQ test I took ranked me at genius level. No, I'm not bragging even though it might sound like it.

As a writer, I've found that I'm an observer and participant in life. I shop, cook, clean, work, and a host of other things just like the rest of the seven billion people on the face of this Earth. But there is a high attention to detail. For example, today I was in Dollar General. The elderly woman, with brilliant blue eyes and the prettiest silver hair I've ever seen, in front of me was fidgeting with her oxygen cylinder. Now there were several people in line and none thought to ask if she needed help. Afterwards I sort of chocked this up to nobody caring or too busy in their own little worlds to notice what's going on around them.The woman's regulator was on the fritz. I set it to continuous flow and and she was fine. But I digress.

Your left side of your brain is your analytical, logic side. In writing I use this to sequence events, organize my writing into a coherent state, and edit. I catch repetitive phrases and words, which irks me to no end in mine and others writings. I'm a stickler for details.I play the devil advocate. I double check facts before putting them into my writing.

Nothing is worse than having a reader come back at you with "You Are Wrong!" At least it is to me. The only thing worse is them telling you your book was trash in my mind. We as writers after all are here to please ourselves and our readers. Aren't we? If something is sloppily done, does it irritate you? It does me.


The right brain is our own little world as writers. It's our imagination, our creative juices, and the big picture. This is the overall plot of our story. Our basic concepts for our stories are formed here. We can see it, taste it, and hear it.

As a writer, this is where I feel for the characters in the story. I will put myself in the character's place.  The small voices in my head (the characters) will yell at me if they wouldn't do or say such things. This is also our basic of basic plot lines. You know the ones I'm talking about...the big seven. Man versus man, man versus environment, man versus machine...yada yada yada.

Writers are truly a different breed than the average Joe. They exercise both sides of their brains at the same time. We write in ordered chaos. We push the scientific boundaries. We suspend belief. At least that's what good writers do.

Have you exercised both sides of your brain today?

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

1 comment:

Nicole Pyles said...

Good point! I think it's important to work both sides of the brain! Especially while writing...one side to run wild, another side to make sure the other doesn't wreak havoc. :) we need logic to be sure our story make sense!