Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Fine Art of Introspection

Looking inside yourself - examining why you do something or how you really feel about someone – isn’t always fun. I’d venture to say that the majority of the time it’s not a walk in the park. However, as writers, and really as functioning people, it’s necessary and good.

How can I write a character that’s true to life if I don’t understand what makes them tick? I can’t really understand what makes anyone else who they are if I don’t have a pretty good idea about myself. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s why it took me so long to come into my own as a writer – because I hadn’t figured myself out yet.

I naturally over-analyze things, so I don’t often have to prompt myself to dig deeply into my interior. However, there are times when I just can’t get a grip on the way I’m reacting to something and will make myself go to the park or a quiet bistro to think it through.

Of course many of my revelations come through dreams, as I’ve made obvious through my online persona. Those trips down the yellow brick road serve me just as well.

Whatever it takes to get to our own mental and even spiritual roots, we have to do it to write well. At least, that’s what I think. How about you?


  1. I can relate to your mannerisms because I over-analyze people's words and actions as well as my own. I think being observant of all kinds of people gives us writers an advantage to create a character that is as complex as real people.

  2. Thanks Rachel - I think you're right!

  3. Couldn't be more bang on, Kathy. And I think where the problem really grows is when you want to develop that character, get them to respond in a credible manner relative to who they are supposed to be. That part of writing fascinates me, and I truly believe that those who will look most deeply will have the most memorable characters. Hats off to the braves, the ones who'll look inside.

  4. Christina - you and I are often on the same wave length - most of the time, I think. Anyway - it does take guts to look inside, doesn't it? It's painful sometimes, but joyous on others. Illumination that shines on our characters, that's for sure.