Walking to the car this morning, searching for a topic for this morning’s entry, one word bubbled up to the top of my consciousness: duality. For a few seconds I was like, duality? That’s it? Thanks brain, the fuck am I supposed to do with that? But then I think I caught on to what my subconscious was suggesting. The duality is within myself when I’m writing. It’s the fact that I become, for awhile, another person entirely. It became obvious last night when I was dictating a new portion of my novel in the voice of my character – it became so much easier, so much clearer, when I put myself into her shoes rather than trying to assess the story from my point of view.
While this can be quite the blessing, there’s a big downside to it; sometimes I worry that I’m borderline insane, being able to step so easily into the skin of someone else, someone who doesn’t even exist. I know, of course, that she’s an extension of my own consciousness, but still it feels a bit odd. Is it what actors feel?
Looking around on the Internet, it does seem as though I’m using something more akin to an actor’s approach to building a character’s voice. I suppose I’m going to have to be okay with it, and embrace it, as it produces a fairly high-quality, or at least, unique, sense of character. And here’s the oddest thing: it helps make the journey of writing a little less insular, as if there’s someone else who cares, even if that “someone” is entirely internal.
It all sounds a little nutty writing it out like that, but I suppose we’re all a little nutty on some level. I embrace that nuttiness most of the time, but there is always going to be a side of me that has some hesitation and wonders where creativity verges on mental illness and whether the distinction really matters or not if I’m still living a productive, healthy life (for the most part). Probably not. It’s probably just a good outlet.
Today’s link is to Ollin Morales’ “Courage to Create“. He’s a fellow writer who’s working on his first novel and talking about some of his own difficulties. He has great advice, and I’ve found a lot of it very helpful as I purse my own path, as well. Check it out!