In the popular, but simplistic right-brain, left brain dominance theory, the right brain is best at expressive and creative tasks while the left brain is best in areas of language and logic. Could this be a problem for writers? You bet. Fortunately, we are able to access both sides concurrently and writers need that in order to use language creatively.
Creativity in writing is highly personal and annoyingly elusive. It seems to effectively sidestep a frontal approach. In other words, the more intensely you focus on being creative, the less you are. Creativity arrives from the side, much like peripheral vision; turn your head and the shadow is gone.
But creativity can be coaxed out of hiding. I write fantasy novels for pre-teens because I enjoy the process of creating worlds, characters, obstacles and resolutions. Not only does creativity exist on the level of plotline, its in chapters, paragraphs, sentences and even word usage. What fun! But what if a character confuses you? What can you do if the plot line for the story stops and you dont know where its going? Is this writers block?
I claim it is not. It is an important part of the process. I know whats missing will reveal itself if I let it. Ray Bradbury said these problems go to ground in the unconscious where they process and ultimately give up their resolutions (my paraphrasing). Hes right. I step away from direct action. Yes, its hard to do, but I do it. I walk our road, cut wood for the winter, or sit on the deck swing with coffee and a muffin. I do something physical away from the story. Sometimes I take an alternate tack, extract an outline from the finished chapters, track character arcs, or create a synopsis. Of course the outline and synopsis will be wrong, but they will both give me a view of my work from a different perspective, from the side with my peripheral vision.
I said this was hard to do and it is. Its hard to let chaos reign; its hard to deliberately live with confusion; its very hard for us type A, self-actualized, inner-directed writers to set our work aside and let our unconscious do its thing. But your work will be better for it.
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