I have taken several tests to determine if I am primarily a right brained or a left brained thinker. Usually the results indicate that I am pretty balanced, (I’m sure that term doesn’t mean what I’d like it to mean).
I think that’s accurate. But certain aspects of my thinking fall on one side or the other. For example, I can express myself well with words. That is a left brained skill.
But I am a “whole picture” kind of person. That is a right brained trait.
I dislike change (unless it’s my idea). Right brained.
I don’t process things in order. Right brained.
I love symbolism and abstract ideas. Left brained
I understand logic. I use logic. Left brained.
But if it comes down to it, I will base a decision on how I feel–my intuition–rather than logic. Right brained.
I’m not in love with rules. Right brained.
So… what does all this have to do with writing? For one thing, every writer will have a unique way of seeing things. Processing will be different for each of us. So many times we try to find the “right way” based on what other people do. Or worse, we try to impose our way as being the “right way.”
Because I am a “whole picture” person and I don’t do things sequentially there are some writing practices that give me hives just thinking of them. Outlining. Plotting.
Randy Ingermanson created The Snowflake Method of plotting. This thing is backwards for someone who is right brained. He asks me to start by writing one sentence that captures my entire book. How can I do that if I haven’t written the book yet?
For a left-brained person, this would be reasonable and easy. They start with the pieces and build the whole. A right-brainer needs the whole before they can distinguish the pieces.
So this method is right for some people. Not so much for others. It depends on how you process information.
This is just one example of how the wiring in our heads might affect how we write. Get to know your brain. Figure out how you think. Discover the strategies and methods that work best for you.
There are several tests online. Here is one I’ve used.
This site discusses some of the differences in processing.
What about you? How do you think? How does it affect your writing?