Left Brain, Right Brain – Which One Is Better?

left brain, right brainSo, you are a writer that feels inspired by a great idea to put it out there in fiction – cause if you do, there’s two of us.

You have carefully elaborated your character cards, you have designed an enticing and captivating  plot with lots of unexpected turning points and surprise reversals of situations, and your hard-worked book already feels like a page turner. You have perfectly calculated your first 25% of the book’s first conflict, you have carefully considered what happens once your book builds up at 50%, and then you have built a looming disaster for your character at the next coming turn point,  once your book  reaches into the 75%. Here it is time for an impossible situation when all is lost, or almost, and only a miracle can still save the day for your character.

Your can anticipate that your reader shall be caught in it so much, that, with only three hours left till the alarm clock is set to ring, yet he won’t be able to put down the book yet, desperate to see whether the destiny-challenged character is going to be finally defeated or rescued; in this case, this will be proof that there is still justice left in the world.

After one, two or ten years, you finally have the product, the manuscript is on the desk in front of you. It is time for you to lay back, take a deep breath, straighten your back against the chair and, if you can, tap yourself on the shoulder. You may want to feel the heat in the two halves of your brain,  see which hemisphere is hotter; if I am right, it should be the right side (joking, I am – happily our heads don’t turn seriously hotter with intense usage, like our laptops do).

On a more serious note, what I intend to say  is that you have been largely using the right side of the brain – the one that is creative, imaginative, that  uses symbols and images to create emotional tension, that joins the present with the future to make you see the Big Picture, the way you will show it to your reader.

And if you quit, like I did, all your money-making jobs to follow a dream that seems impossible to every sensible “left-brained” person, making everyone else in your entourage think  you are crazy, then it is absolutely sure that you gave the  most of the leading role for the most important act of your life to the right side of your brain.

Any reasonable individual in his “right mind”(correct would be: in his left mind ), most probably would never dare do such things. Most probably, an “intelligent” being would try to stay safe and avoid taking risks, would stay anchored in reality and work to establish a solid, structured life based on objective reality and not on “fanciful dreamery”.

Who’s right, and who’s wrong,  you may say, especially if you were like M and M, two people I know, who have been trying hard for years to convince one another of the righteousness of his/her position, but still none of them had succeeded with the other.

In fact neither is right, and neither is wrong. Nature likes balance: it is imperious that the two hemispheres are being equally stimulated and equally used – and if you succeed you can consider yourself a spiritual person.

Thus, it is still Nature that comes with the solution. It forces the imaginative right-brained author to rescue and prevent his left side from rusting, in a new phase, the pitching phase: after finishing writing, they’ll have to submit their work to literary agencies .

And here’s the nub: in order to do that, he will need a book proposal that knocks the agent’s, the editor’s and the publisher’s socks off. Writing a killer proposal requires you to start thinking like an entrepreneur with a product. Gradually, but surely, our author will start transforming himself into a business-savvy marketer, capable of smartly calculating and using his book as a moneymaking product,  think like a marketer in terms of possible clients: who, when, why and where to meet possible readers and how to get high in surveys – all this clear left brain stuff.

By going through this long and painful process, the author sees himself obliged to make use of every resource in his power, and maybe surpass himself. He has put to work his logic as much as he has been using his feelings; he has been thinking facts and details as much as he had to imagine and project the big picture.

But this is just an example – life is not only filled with authors, writing and publishing; any project, process or experience can be used to bring out the best in us, and the best is only possible when we successfully combine the hard, reasoning mind with the creative one.

8 thoughts on “Left Brain, Right Brain – Which One Is Better?”

  1. This is a very interesting discussion.I am a composer and rely on the right brain. I attempt to communicate the feel of a text I’m working with. (I write church/liturgical music). Word painting with sound. More than that, I want people to move and be moved. I want to put theology and scripture into dance. I have come to see that my songs are meant to elicit joy and pain and rage and fear – those powerful emotions that drive people. (Pete Townsend of “The Who” is my model) That’s all right brain, feeling, moving…
    And the left brain waits a day or two. And then analyzes: “What is working here?” What else can happen? Are the chords right? Does the melody do what it needs to do?”
    So, this comes from a composer who wants to write better, but doesn’t always know how to make people dance with words.
    Thanks! –roc,sj


  2. Wonderful discussion. Left or right, which one is great? True. One can argue in support of one or the other and end his life without reaching some decision or agreement. Even for arguing, you need to use both. So how can you reach a conclusion in favour of one?
    Very intelligent discussion. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quite a wonderful read about the nature of human brain activity. While I myself identify as a right-brained person, I too must acknowledge and use in conjunction with my right, my left brain. This in-depth example shows exactly how two forces collide and yet still somehow work in harmony.
    I also agree with your other statement: neither is correct or wrong. Balance is so essential that it takes no sides, it only creates them for others to take. Very good work Cosmic. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi there!

    I have just recently decided to completely embrace my love of writing and make it my career. I have been writing for a very long time and feel “in my element” when I am working on a project (or two or three or four…); the hard, reasoning “left” mind struggles between “What the hell are you DOING?” and “You should do what you love and feel passionate about and it won’t seem a bit like work.”

    I have always been a firm believer in following my heart because doing so feels more authentically me. So for me, it’s not just about combining my left and right mind but also finding a comfortable balance between head and heart. 🙂

    Kindest Regards,

    Liked by 1 person

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