Posted by : Sherri Cornelius Friday, May 9, 2008
I love the writer psychology pieces on Buzz, Balls & Hype. This week's is about how to control an over-active imagination. The querier says:
My novelistic abilities are making me crazy. The very thing that enables me to be a writer is torturing me in real life. I find that I am projecting my imagination onto already stressful situations and making them almost untenable.
I do this a lot, and if you are a creative type, you may, too. It took a long time to realize that not everyone does it. I think my mom and brother do it, but not my husband or other brother. I wasn't truly able to release my paralyzing anxiety until I recognized the problem. It's too easy to walk through my day in a dream state, with unfocused (or too focused) images taking precedence over what is right in front of me: a book, a chore, a child. It really is enough to drive a person crazy. Coincidentally, my husband and I established last night that only I am allowed to question my sanity.
I know one thing, I'd be a lot happier without the g-d writer's mind. After the birth of my son, images of horror were uncontrollable and rampant. Images, and sometimes entire scenes, would superimpose on reality. Accidentally dropping a knife on him, our family dog turning rabid and ripping him apart, him burning to death in front of my eyes, really horrible stuff. Eventually I recognized that I was suffering from serious post-partum depression, as similar stories surfaced over the intervening years, but still...I wonder if it was made worse by my powerful imagination. I wonder if they've ever done a tally of the jobs held by the sufferers of post-partum depression.
Anyhoo, now that I've gone in a completely different direction than I planned... Don't worry, my son is six, and the things I described in the previous paragraph have been over for a long time. Though never as intense or horrible since (the thoughts have been expanded to include good stuff), they are still distracting. Over the past year or so I've gotten much better at recognizing when my thoughts fall in that pattern, and as the Practical Vampire Slayer says, when you bring vampires into the light, they lose their power.
Go read the article.