Friday, January 14, 2011

Pantsing from my Right Hemisphere

Recently I learned 2 things that I found interesting about me as a writer. Since this blog is about me, and recently frequently about me as a writer, you're going to learn them too.

Charmaine Clancy over at Wagging Tales posted about right-brain vs. left-brain the other day. She included this link, which I immediately clicked and was totally surprised to find that the figure is turning clockwise. For me.* Which way do you see her turning? I always thought I'm a left-brained person, but I suspect that many people would disagree. Including you, dear reader? I'm not good with the abstract stuff right-brained people are supposed to be good at. I like the concrete, the logical, the scheduled, the patterned, the safe. I wonder if she would have been turning the other direction 3 hours ago when I wasn't right in the middle of my creative time. Which is scheduled. And therefore left-brain. Right?

On the other hand, when I write, I find that I am most comfortable when I'm writing by the seat of my pants. I learned recently (after reading Shannon McMahon's interview with Elana Johnson) that this is called pantsing (right brain) and its opposite is plotting (left brain). You can click the word and learn more about it (I had to). Isn't it funny that there's a term for it? I rarely go into my writing with a plan or an outline of any sort. I usually have a vague idea of what I want to say or where I want to start or about what or whom I want to write. Then I just start and write until I'm done. Or dry. Whichever comes first. Even in my college writing classes, where I had to turn in my outline and rough draft with my final draft, I would write the paper first and go back and draw up an outline from it to hand in (sometimes I'd change the paper backwards a little and hand that in as my "rough draft"). I always did very well on my papers. This is why I chose to get a degree in philosophy, I think. All the writing made it easy for me. I didn't learn anything useful, but WOW! can I write!

So now you can say, when you're talking about something brilliant I've said or done (like you frequently do, I'm sure), "My Right-Brained, Pantsing Online Friend Bel said/did..." and no one but us will know what you mean!

*When I concentrated, I got her to switch directions.


Lydia K said...

I'm trying to develop my right brain more so I'm not so lopsided!

The Grandpa said...

She was going counter clockwise when I clickedon it, but then I lookedaway and looked back and she was going clockwise. Then she started going counter again. Maybe that's why I don't get anything done. My brain keeps switching the way ot looks at things.

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