, ,

Nine Muses 225     Squishy and crunchy; right and left; designer and draftsman; creator and crafter; it’s all me.
     The hardest part of Lesson 3’s exercise was trying to do nothing that involved reading or heavy word-lifting while the right-brain was working. I did laundry, showered, played “Four-in-a-Row”, napped, meditated, listened to atmospheric lyric-less music, sketched, washed dishes, but of all the word neutral activities I tried, going for a walk or taking a driving were the most productive. Twice I used my Iphone’s “Voice Memos” app with good effect to record right-brain offerings and touch points—I plan to explore this option further. Twice I got lucky enough to find myself alone in the house and left to my own devices. I was able to think aloud without interruption or audience. These times proved the best for right-brain/left-brain communications and productivity.
     I noted a creative equilibrium that had to be maintained as I patiently tried to give my right-brain self time to graze the Sweet-Spot Map, chew thoughtfully on what it gathered there and then deliver an idea, yet at the same time keep my left-brain under control but not completely muzzled so as to allow it to accept or deny said ideas, and then gradually afford it more lead as further definition was required and let slip the leash completely when synthesis began to occur. This balance, for me, was critical to successfully calling down lightning.
     The point where the left-brain gradually turns from simply accepting or rejecting to requesting more defining information was a subtle one. Sometimes it happened without my noticing it. One moment my left-brain was giving ideas thumbs-up or thumbs-down and in the next asking “How can that work?” or “Where is this going?” and going even further as my right-brain self suddenly began offering more detailed answers.
     Though note-taking was discouraged, I must confess that my absolute best sessions occurred with a red pen in one hand, a blue pen in the other (metaphorically speaking of course, though I am somewhat ambidextrous) and a sheet of quadraliniar paper between them. Right-brain laid down its questions in red and left-brain responded in blue:yea-ing, nay-ing or maybe-ing. I found that this helped keep the left-brain in check as it enthusiastically tried to run with the possibilities right-brain offered up without allowing them to percolate. More than once I had to remind my eager left-brain self to calm down, speak softly, slowly, simply and allow my right-brain self the wiggle room it needed.
     Though I suffer from PERFECT, I am blessed that my left-brain self does not act so much the “inner-critic” (for which I am extremely thankful), as it does the experienced elder sibling ever ready to dispense advice and put everyone’s life in order. My left-brain was eager to start drafting plans even before my right-brain designer was finished conceptualizing the idea.
     Synthesis was more easily achieved than it was identified. One idea took nearly a whole week to bring to the surface, but once the Creator and the Crafter started slamming down details together and working in more or less sync, it was pretty obvious and entertaining.
     One thing I had to remind myself to do, and I don’t know if this was right or wrong, was to let go and stop worrying/refining an idea after synthesis: “…don’t expect [ideas] to be perfect or easily usable…” (bracket added by author for emphasis). I had to tell myself more than once that the exercise was not meant to produce a full-blown plot line complete with scene cards and denouement but simply a good idea with potential.
     I noted that the process had sped up by the time I landed my third idea. It took a quarter of the time my first idea required. Of course this could be dependent on a great many things from the need for sleep, to an unnoticed detail on the SSM, to finally uncovering a truly writer-self appealing idea. I suspect however, that my left and right-brains were learning how better to cooperate with each other. I wonder if trying to crank out three ideas a week wouldn’t be great training to take on for a month or so as good writing exercise.