Multiple Personalities Can Be Your Friend

Hi, I’m Kathleen. I’m a writer. And I’m Kathleen. I’m an editor. We argue a lot… she never listens to me!

Do I sound crazy to you? Actually, it’s a good idea to be a little bit schizophrenic (in its old, less accurate sense of having multiple personalities) if you want to have a long-term writing career.

After all, if the editor and the author are both occupying your brain at the same time, they’ll trip on each other. You need them both, no question of that.

But when you’re working on your draft, the last thing you need is someone (worst of all, yourself!) standing over your shoulder pointing out that you have too many adverbs or your sentences are too long. Pretty soon you’re making the fatal mistake of correcting yourself as you go, and then you stop writing entirely.

And when the draft is finished and it’s time to do revisions, you really don’t want the crazed dream-spinner in the writer half of your brain changing everything around with too much passion. That person is way too invested in this story – they need to take a back seat while you concentrate on polishing, finding the plot throughlines and making sure they’re sound, seeing if the logistics make sense, and so on.

So while you need both writer and editor – and later, a marketer and a businessperson too – you don’t want to have them both operating at the same time. A little multiple personality time is good for your novel.

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