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Left Meets Right- The Journey Begins

When I was working on my B.A. in Liberal Studies a few years back, we chose our senior projects. We were to research a subject and present it in both oral and written form. I decided my research would be on workplace spirituality, my written presentation a Novella. I did not know how I would present this to my group of cohorts.

My mentor advised that my presentation be on my creative process. I was instructed to keep a journal as well. I had approximately sixteen weeks to research my subject, keep a substantive journal of my research and write a novella. I started writing my novella about twelve weeks before the final project was due.

As I look over my journal on this creative process, I cannot believe how much I did in so little time. At the time, I was trying to find a way to bring my best self into an unhealthy work environment. I did not realize how much of my own self worth I put into my work. It was an interesting experience to see how my creative writing during this time helped me to work through some of my own work issues.

On March 6, 2005, I wrote this in my journal regarding my creative process:

I have written six pages and 1531 words on my story since last night- and it is not coming out at all the way I planned. My synopsis and character profiles are specific enough to where I thought I had a pretty good plot: arrogant associate attorney comes on the scene and doesn’t want to be a team player but Ms. Spirituality-at-work-paralegal teaches him about looking within for work validation instead of grasping outside of himself. Ha! As I wrote, the story began to take on a life of its own, as if I, the writer, were not in control! How can this be? Well, it is what it is, and my protagonist is still Lana the paralegal but she is the corporate money hungry monger who does not realize she is walking into a spiritual environment. We will experience through her eyes what it is like to come from a corporate mindset to just the opposite. Thus, my title Left (corporate left-brain thinker) Meets Right (spiritual right brain thinker). Does this make sense? Yes Left Meets Right.

Meanwhile, I continue to work very hard on writing my novel. I have reached the 17,000 mile mark, which means I am approximately a quarter of the way into my story. My protagonist is acting and reacting in ways I never imagined. The story truly seems to have taken on a life of its own. Who is in control—my characters or me?

Over the next several weeks, or however long it takes, I plan to post journal entries on my creative process while writing my novella. Next time, I may share some insights about The Ant and the Elephant by Vincent Poscente, and how to apply those principles to writing!

Happy writing!

5 thoughts on “Left Meets Right- The Journey Begins

  1. Sometimes the characters just take over and we have to go with it. Sometimes I smack my characters back into line and make them do what I want them to do. It all depends on what my guts tells me.

    That's an interesting story about how your novella helped you to cope with what you were going through in your work enviroment. I find that writing can be therapeutic and soothing while going through stress. It can help a lot! I'm glad it helped you.

    Jai

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  2. Jai,

    I think it's important to get those stories out of us and onto paper. I still work at the same place, but my perceptions about work are so different now. I think that our writing most often reflects what is inside of us, whether it be a dream, or the need for a different life story, or whatever.

    Follow the Cowherd Boy is set in Indian culture, correct? Did you find that writing a story containing your culture was therapeutic?

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  3. Susan,

    Writing Follow the Cowherd Boy wasn't quite therapeutic as it was a journey of discovery. I had to do some much research on the history and circumstances, and learn so much about my own culture. Even as I wrote I was learning so much. It just came out that way and when I read back I was blown away but the things I saw.

    I would say that the book I just finished writing is more therapeutic than Follow the Cowherd Boy. I was dealing with a lot of internal issues when writing it that I was able to make peace with.

    Jai

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  4. It's a novel, contemporary suspense, set in Texas. Makes sense because my life right now goes from one suspense to another.

    It's not autobiographical or anything like that. None of the characters or the plot bears any resemblance to me or my life.

    Jai

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