Discovering The Muse & Holly Lisle’s How To Think Sideways Ends March 5th

photo credit: motto via photopin (license)

photo credit: motto via photopin (license)

This is a repost of a previous post I wrote. It is a good example of things I am learning from Holly Lisle. This is my own personal interpretation of my muse and editor (creative brain).

Links to Holly Lisle course at bottom.






This post is a bit about my writing process and a lot about getting to know my Muse and Editor.

~ My Dark Muse to Me, “Lefty better not call me tinker bell, or he’ll be meeting my right hoof.”

Read on and find out why it made me snicker…

Okay my right brain talks a lot. My left brain listens, but doesn’t want to do the work e.g. filling in details left open by the right brain conceptual thinking. Left brain loves puzzles, but hates the leg work when it does not just flow, while at the same time being a horrible critic.

Right Brain and (Me e.g. the whole brain), think left brain is lazy, or at least undisciplined, despite the fact it is strong in reason, logic, common sense and possesses, with a great deal of wisdom to call upon.

Left brain loves puzzles, mysteries, thrill rides, adventure, treasure and ghost hunts, but struggles with connecting the dots. Right Brain provides the answer, but left can’t figure out how right brain arrive at the conclusion, so it criticizes instead of working it out.

Lefty insist he is male, go figure, while right is female. (This might have been right brains comments more so than left.  Lefty just went along.)

So my two brains attempting to work together have decided that it is my left brain editor that really needs a name. On the Holly Lisle forums, a fellow student and writer, Papa Bear,  has inspired with his thoughts on the subject of the muse and editor in other threads.   His intuitiveness into his own personal editor lead to a lightning strike for me.

My right brain decided to take a name instead of just a symbolic representation aka above drawing, due to Papa Bear’s insightful words in a post to me on the forum in the How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School For Writers writing course I took in 2012.

Truthfully, everyone I have read on the forums have given me something to think about and that I can use in the writing process. Thanks to all of them for their willingness to share and others like me advice.  If I am successful it is due to  the students, along with Holly Lisle, who have made an impact on  my writing life and processes.

The Holly Lisle forums play  into my style of learning.   It has been an amazing journey.   I took a brain test to see how I learn best.  The test results:   I am 28% visual, 24% auditory, and 18% tactile. I am also right brain dominant and struggle with detail work for the long-term. I am a product of today’s microwave society and the 80’s. I want what I want in few minutes, not next week.

I need diversity and constant change to ward off boredom and my own failing  impatient interests. I am a multitasker that gets restless when things still, or fail to move fast or steadily enough… a subconscious falsehood that I have learned to fight and ward off e.g. reference pacing: crawl = failure–must switch gears–change something to get back on the fast track again.  Bumps must mean I am doing it wrong. 

My writing style could best be described as “a Pantser”, who is learning to merge left brain thinking in a way that right and left brain function more smoothly together.

For those reason, as Holly suggested in her list of things to try, I have added meditation to my daily routines.  I was actually already reading and learning about meditation, when I found the Holly Lisle courses.   So I am learning to focus in a productive way, step back, slow down taking it one step at a time to follow the detail work across the finish line. Meditation is an aid that helps improve focus and clarity of thought.  It helps ease stress and self-inflicted fears and doubt.

Meditation is not as easy as it sounds, nor as simple as “Be still and listen”.  It is amazing what you see and hear creatively, when you do quite your mind .   I can managed about  5-8 minutes, so far to date.  I would like to make this a daily routine, but have not evolved enough  for consistency yet.  I am shooting for 20-30 minutes, because  20 minutes is the suggested  timeframe by most books about meditation.  They often encourage longer sessions for calming, stress and improved focus.

Applying one’s self to something and sticking with it takes work. My left brain is a bit like Garfield the cat in that it likes to creatively justify its laziness or lack of focus.

“I’m not messy. I’m organizationally challenged!”

Justification is a left brain trick to get me to move on, quit, or give up so it does not have to deal with the drudge work of connecting the dots–things like drawn out details, or details it cannot quite make fit the need.

Right brain works with images or the senses (e.g.  smell, taste, hearing, seeing, touch and intuition).  Right brain sometimes presents patterns or symbols, but leaves meaning unclear, or lacks connection A-Z, or the mechanics of intent in how they work in the story.  It affects Lefty like a maze without a map or solution.

Lefty gets frustrated and will start slapping/criticizing the whole work throwing out things like  its not good enough, it makes no sense, or  we are just not smart enough to work it out.  That’s stupid.  Let’s do something else.  My response now to self, “Undisciplined much?” LOL   **heh, lefty is not fond of sarcasm directed at him** (There is also that “be safe, perfect and victim”, as describe by Holly Lisle thing again, as well)


Now back to naming the brains…

So my right brain has chosen the name Captain Hook for its editor-left brain.   The symbology that affects that:  Hook is always chasing after Peter Pan, who never grows up, while never recognizing his own control issues.  Hook represents the structure, builder/leader, authoritative qualities of Saturn, while resenting the hell out of having to grow up, and the fact Peter Pan never does.

Hook tells himself that Peter Pan’s life is so much easier. He never has to face the problems, pitfalls, or deal with the consequences of his choices.  Life (survival) is just a game to him.  Things come so easy for Peter Pan, too easy.

Peter Pan is not marked by time, like Hook, facing the prospect of growing older and what comes with it.  Hook just cannot get past the fact Peter is always having fun.  Chaos is a sport and he excels at creating it.

The original Hook decides someone needs to get control of that boy, and of course, that is what Hook sets about doing, or more like destroying–My Lefty is not such the self-hater as Hook, although Lefty is not above using it as an excuse to move on to something new.

Left brain will ignore, be lazy, pass blame, when in fact that quality really makes him more like  Peter Pan than the right brain in some ways.   Right brain and I, do get the irony of that, which amuses us.  It also makes right brain more tolerant of left brain, because sometimes they are more alike than not, lol.

Personally, I am not so sure Lefty should not be named Peter Pan, rather than Captain Hook, but right brain insists Captain Hook is much more suitable to the metaphor of what occurs between them.

My right brain refers to herself often as the Dark Muse.  She says I can also call her Raven, because she is forever the winged creäture–and because she delivers messages and images.  Or, I can call her “My Pegasus”, because she carries me up and passed my imagination out into the great beyond connecting with Spirit and the universe.

Muse refuses to be labelled or held to one image, but has agreed, if I must have one, the one image to refer to that is always true is Pegasus.  It  represents the heart of who she is and the possibilities that she can become.  She says for me  to not get too comfortable with any image, as she can always change her mind.

Left Brain has also been labeled “The Grouch”, a Hookish quality lefty does possess, if I might say so, LOL.  

Right brain pays no attention to left brain grousing, which has become an art form for him.  Despite the occasional antagonism and difficulty  in connecting, both halves of my brain are learning to work together.

I wrote the majority of this post 3 years ago.  However, the discoveries are still true about left brain vs. right brain today, which for me are continually evolving.




One trick lefty has learn to combat the frustration and tendency to give up  is to ask power questions, or the right question. Not all questions you asked will get you the answer you need.  Not all answers work, so keep asking  the eternal question Why, along with Where, What, When and How.  My favorite What if?

Mediate, Be Aware, Review the images that come to you. 

Mind map with words, phrases, doodles and images.

Reading and doodling sometimes help my focus, or distract enough to allow me to focus on what is important among the clutter.



Open Enrollment for 2015 class ending March 5th.  It will be about a year, before open enrollment will be offered again.  If you were on the fence about it, now is the time to join the fun, while it is still available.

Only 2 days, after today left, invest in yourself for 2015.  The best investment in my own writing that I have ever made.  This is one of the most popular courses in Holly’s list of courses, but there are many more to choose from, if this one does not suit your needs, or your budget.

 If you missed the FREE MINI Workshop.  You can still get it.

If you want to get paid to write, to write better stories, and to love your work, download the FREE 3-day writing workshop Holly offered today to test the waters.  I took a peek and this is great stuff. (The whole thing is now available today until March 5th).


 Three Free Writing Mini-Workshops

Trouble joining the HTTS Free 3-Day Workshop?
There have been a few folks having problems with the “Leaping Muse” landing page. If you’re one of them sign up here instead. You’ll still get the full three-day workshop. (The whole thing is now available today).

How to Think Sideways

If you made it this far, I really enjoyed this music video below. My Muse found it inspiring at any rate.

**Affiliate links to Holly Lisle** See disclosures under About Juneta in top menu.)

Share Button


  • I, too, never thought of naming the Left Brain as well as the Right. I’m certainly going to try that–it might help me keep the two straight during those times when the line between them gets too fuzzy. Great post!

  • Though I’ve never thought of naming the two opposing parties, I do relate, but call what my right brain does “ADD/ADHD running amok”. I’m also learning that I’m now only doing a minimal amount of accounting/left brain work, I’m inclined to work more puzzles to keep the left brain happier and more occupied. Conversely, while I was working on my degree many years ago and working full time, I read a lot of mindless nonsense (read “Harlequin Romances”) to keep the right brain from self-destructing. One of the things which also helps me along is to just do a brain dump as I did last night to clear the clutter and get to the root of my problem.

    I will, as you suggested, take advantage of Holly’s forums once I get a little further into the class. Right now, I’m “getting” what she’s saying and feeling comfortable with the lessons, though I know that if I’m learning and stretching, this feeling of comfort won’t last much longer, at which point, those forums will surely be life savers (or at least, sanity savers!).

    Thank you, once again, for sharing your thoughts. They do help me put things into perspective.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.