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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

id or ego

Sigmund Freud once postulated that our psyches are composed of three primary drives. The id, which is the childlike, 'I want it now.' The ego, which is basically the grown up that says, 'No, you can't have it now. You have to work for it. And the superego which makes sure everything that is done is both aboveboard and moral. Having grown up in the south, in a Baptist home/church, my superego is overdeveloped. So even though I may occasionally lapse, I am mentally punished greatly for it.

Last night, my id danced around with ideas as I drove to Knoxville for writer's group. Most people's eyes glaze over after an hour or two of writing talk but not other writers. We can talk about it for hours. In addition, Lou, our hostess, always has fabulous noshes and wine. I thought I had my id pretty well under control after I arrived as I very responsibly said no to a second glass of wine since I was driving back to Chattanooga in a few hours.

Even foregoing the wine, the food was wonderful. She had smoked cheeses, crackers, wasabi peanuts, and carmelized pretzels for appetizers. the entree consisted of  a pumpkin-sausage pasta dish that had a hint of the flavors and blended well with the wine. The writing talk flowed and I reveled in it.

We talked current projects (although as I am writing this my superego reminded me I forgot to ask one of the writers what he was writing on, hope he wasn't too offended, sorry David). Anyway we touched on outlining, blogging, story rights, self-publishing, story lengths, submissions, technique, story types, plot lines, and even did a writing exercise.

Then eleven came (I'd been there since 6:30), my ego gave me a swift nudge and reminded me that what ever time I left, it would be an hour and a half before I got home. About fifteen minutes after that, I began to make noises about leaving but then kept remembering other things I wanted to ask. Or, I wanted to hear what the others were saying. So, in the end, I arrived home around one in the morning. My kids get up at 6:30 so I do too. I am worthless today and missed jiu jitsu class this morning.  I think the id is where most of the writing ideas come from so I wonder, what are the appropriate conditions to let it come out and play?


  1. Writer's group is always fun, the highlight of my month usually. I've read the Kevin J Anderson dictates his novels as he goes hiking. Sounds silly to me, but maybe you could try it one your long drives.

    The sound of my voice drives me crazy though, I don't know if I could listen to what I dictated later. I'd be cringing at that nasally sound coming from the player - I don't sound that way when I talk, what happens when it gets recorded?

  2. Maybe I could start with the phrase "Captain's log" :) It's a good idea and I have a recorder from when I used to have to learn lines while driving when I did theatre. But I'm so tangential I have to go back and read where I was to continue it so I don't know how that would work on record. I always sound more nasal and way more country sounding than I think I do when recorded.