I have two kinds of writers inside me — The Thinker and The Tinkerer.
The Thinker LOVES to think, loves to dig deep, loves to mine for the vein of gold. She is a bit like a monk. She can spend hours by herself, turning ideas around in her head and deepening them.
Rodin’s famous sculpture The Thinker comes to mind when I think about her.
She is the writer inside me that wrote my book The Empath’s Journey. I worked on it for over two years. I did more than 14 drafts. After a while, I just stopped counting.
I think it was the momentum created by all this work that cracked open something & led to me to first synchronistically getting nominated and then being awarded a silver medal at the Rex awards last year for helping create more awareness about highly sensitive people.
So, being The Thinker — going slow and deep — has its advantages. It makes my writing rich even though I can get impatient with the process, even though I sometimes wish I were a “quicker writer.”
Then, there is the other kind of writer who lives inside me. She is The Tinkerer. In the same way that The Thinker loves to think deeply and research, The Tinkerer LOVES to experiment and tinker around.
She loves to play!
She is my intuitive, experimentative INFP side that gets bored really easily. She loves, absolutely loves variety. She is also the person who has new ideas constantly but then gets paralyzed and can’t decide which one to choose. And she is the one who jumps haphazardly from one topic to the other.
She is the writer I have recently given short shrift to.
In the continuum between The Thinker and The Tinkerer, between serious thought and serious play, it’s easy to forget that they both feed each other.
Without The Tinkerer, The Thinker would not have the raw material — the odds and ends of the topics I love, the collection of trivia that feeds into bigger research — to turn into the mulch from which the plant of a book grows.
And without The Thinker, The Tinkerer would only go careening from one half-finished idea to the other, running after the multiplying rabbit-thoughts that my mind generates.
So, I know now that they both need each other.
They also have their individual needs.
The Thinker needs time to research, to write by hand, to let ideas sit and grow roots. The Tinkerer needs playthings, the permission to try things even if they fail, and the trust to learn to fly mid-flight.
This year, I want to rebalance the energy I give to both these parts of me. I want them to work together like the Yin and Yang whole that they are. I want to write short stories and make fun videos and experiment with new art forms so they can flow into the deeper ocean of my writing.
What about you?
What different writers do you have inside? What do they need?
And are you starving one of them?
Ritu Kaushal is an author and creativity coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the recipient of a Silver Medal at the Rex Awards, co-presented by the United Nations in India. Ritu writes about highly sensitive creatives on her site Walking through Transitions.