Tag: self

My Nemesis

Every Great Story Needs A Villain

In trying to understand the characters I’m writing about. I took the Myers-Briggs Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test.  It’s a methodology, personality questionnaire. This assessment is designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. This is the essence of understanding characters. Or so I would imagine. I needed a baseline to find how accurate the test would be for determining my personality. My results were successfully intriguing. And as most personality test results go, it highlighted key aspects of my cerebral character.

Now understand that some writers deal with voices inside their heads (most are only character voices trying to tell their stories, others not so much).  The only way to silence those voices is to record the story. For example, there is a story about a Navajo grandfather who once told is grandson, “Two wolves live inside of me. One is the bad wold, full of greed and laziness, full of anger and jealousy and regret. The other is the good wolf, full of joy and compassion and willingness and a great love for the world. All the time, these wolves are fighting inside of me.” “But grandfather,” the boy said. “Which wolf will win?” The grandfather answered, “The one I feed.”  Naturally most people would fight and feed the good wolf. But I would approach the situation a little differently; as characters (of my psyche) these wolves would speak to me. Should I live the life of the big bad wolf, or simply tell its story as the good wolf? How would I tell that story? What if these wolves weren’t really fighting? What if by comparison they gave each other purpose?

This brings me to my Nemesis, the character in my story I didn’t understand. I’d already created the protagonist, his story, arc and goal. I took the Humanmetrics test, answering as my hero would with ease because in my mind, I’m the hero. I knew him better than he knew himself because I had fed him regularly and his voice was more prominent. The results confirmed the kind of person I envisioned him to be, and that Humanmetrics was worth its weight in gold! I grew more excited to get to know his nemesis. I took the test, and was shocked to learn that his results were much more aligned with my own. What if I’m not the hero in my stories, but instead the bad guy?

What’s more troubling is the amount of people who regularly suggest that as a manager I need to be more of an asshole, or manipulative to my direct reports to avoid being taken advantage of and get things accomplished. It’s expected, even desperately wanted by some, which I feel is very telling.  However, I believe the want is more of a reflection on the psychological expectations of others: Treat me badly and I’ll behave. Some say I need to take it further and be more nefarious in my personal life to meet my goals. Perhaps. In any event, the Big Bad Wolf is always hungry, and people demand I dress him in sheep’s clothes and feed him to join the pack.


The 12: Service

Step 12: Service

Writer’s Rehab

For those in recovery programs, practicing Step 12 is simply “how it works.”

I’ve always wanted to change the world, but I couldn’t figure out how until I began to write.  I believed each and everything I wrote would somehow find its way into popularity and create epic change.  I believed that under the rock from which I wrote, my work would be discovered and used as a measure of greatness, or my work would earn the validation and recognition I desired and I would finally be a ‘working professional writer’.  I used to wake up each morning with an insatiable desire to write, and while that can be perceived as a good thing, it was the opposite because I didn’t truly consider myself a professional writer.  I thought of myself as a ‘starving artist’.  But ironically the truth is I was both.  The craft of transposing my thoughts and ideas into text literally consumed me so much so that I would have sold my soul to be a ‘professional’ writer, but because souls aren’t something that can be sold, I gave away my humility instead.  The cost to be a high paid professional writer was steep, and I didn’t even know I paid until it was too late.

Through the past 12 steps I’ve come to a lot of insight and realizations not only about the craft of writing, but also about what kind of writer I want to be, and about who I am.  The journey was difficult, as with most inward journey’s, but it was also very inspirational.  I’ve been able to attain more balance not only with regard to the craft of writing, but also within myself, which is where it all begins.  Truthfully, along this ‘adapted journey’ I didn’t give the ‘spiritual awakening’ moment  much thought, but having had one as a result of these steps, I’ve realized the creator’s unspoken challenge  and value of creating things that are in service to oneself, and to others.  I’ve also shifted to a healthier perspective on writing to that of a child-like nature: children are born with pure imagination and a profound desire to create and explore the world around them.  Unknowingly this is the overwhelming feeling I got from the craft of writing– It makes sense I would want to over indulge in it.

Recognizing this feeling has helped me to spread it into other areas of my life.  I’m not just a writer, I am a creator.  However, as a creator I realized that I can’t change the world.  I can only change my perception of it, just like any of the greatest creators of our world.  And only through that insight can I change my world.  We are all creators who must recognize this fact, and be in the child-like state, living with imagination and a profound desire to create or write, but above all be in service.


The 12: Connecting

Step 11: Connecting

Writer’s Rehab

The purpose of Step 11 is to discover the plan ‘writing’, as I understand it, has for my life.

Connecting and fully understanding  my purpose for writing has been a challenge for me.  It has been the means of my own personal growth and discovery.  As long as I’m alive, I will write.  I will express my thoughts and feelings through text.  I will create and share stories, and serve others through my words.  Interestingly, because I truly wanted to quit my ‘addiction’ when I began this experiment, the purpose of ‘writing’, which has been so integral in my life, has been a bit illusive.  In my formative years, I wrote for the pure joy of it because I didn’t have to think of it as a career.  In my later years, my conscious effort to write was simply a means to an end.  During my ‘starving artist’ period it became a vehicle for self-expression.  And now it has become a ‘product’ of service to others.  Going forward, being a writer is and has always been a discipline of my choosing.  The direction of my career is also my choosing– For me, quitting ‘being a writer’ would mean I’m a failure.

The pieces and projects I’ve worked on were only the beginning of the greatness ahead of me.  And it is a long continuous journey I’m ready for.   And although my past projects may not have found the success I wanted for them, I love them just the same.  If I believe my ‘next’ project will always be my best project, I will keep moving towards success.  Through writing, a higher power speaks to me, and I simply do the best I can to capture the miracle.  This is the hardest part of the craft of writing.  However, it is when I am still, when I am silent, when I am quiet, I can capture the words.  My writing habits have changed over the weeks, but there remains an unseen compelling force pushing me to continue.  And although my continued purpose of writing may not be in blog form, it will no doubt be a means to an end that not only expresses my thoughts and feelings, but also serves others.

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