How The Jekyll and Hyde Effect Helps My Writing #Writing

 

How the Jekyll and Hyde Effect Helps My Writing as a Multi-Genre Author.

J and H

If it were possible for Dr Jekyll to uphold his social standing in Victorian London, while also entertaining his ‘inner demon’, Mr Hyde, then surely it’s possible that a writer can do the same.

You see, I often think of my non-fiction books as the grown-up, sophisticated side of my personality.  I write about personal development, holistic health and finding inspiration, topics that resonate with many people and boost their wellbeing.  And I hope that my books go some way to guide my readers in finding the answers they are searching for.

Then the switch flips and I’m taken over by that second skin, the mask that settles over me and allows the demons to run free.  Unlike Stephenson’s Dr Jekyll, I do not spend hours in a laboratory concocting potions that will enable me to express murderous tendencies without remorse.  No, in fact, I’m more likely to be found in the kitchen concocting a hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream – not very demonic of me!

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My Ms ‘Hyde’ may not be a lower class pauper of pure evil, but it is, as with Robert Louis Stephenson’s character, a younger version of myself.  That unrecognisable part of me, the one that stopped growing up once she reached seventeen, is still inside.  Not skulking, nor searching for unsuspecting victims, but creating vivid stories and colourful characters.  My version of Hyde is a young adult, trapped in a sagging body (it’s so true that everything plummets south once you’ve hit your forties!)

Do I hope to expel this second skin?  Should I rid myself of the one true friend who encourages me to speak out?  Not a hope in hell – I love my alter ego.  She pushes me to succeed and to learn more about my craft.  Yes, I’ve beheaded the odd teen at her request, I’ve also disembowelled a General using ferocious demons, but I refuse to stop feeding Ms Hyde as she gives me much in return.

Once the clashing of swords dies down and the scent of lavender oil washes over me, Ms Hyde retreats to a quiet space in my head and allows my Dr Jekyll to flourish.  It’s normally at this time when I run my vision board workshops or hold talks on meditation for beginners, I feel motivated and inspired by the like-minded people around me.

However, it’s a great comfort to know that Ms Hyde is lurking deep within, just waiting to be called forth when I need her.  You see, I truly believe that Dr Jekyll loved being Mr Hyde, he thrived on the freedom as I love to tap into my seventeen-year-old self and run wild in the faerie realms I create.

It didn’t end well for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, but their influence will assist me with my writing goals for many years to come.  Thank you, Mr Stephenson, for creating such a complex character who helps to make sense of a multi-genre writer’s brain.

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I’d love to hear your thoughts about writing for multiple genres, classic literature, or anything else you fancy sharing. That’s what the comments box is for 😉

41 comments

  1. Yep. I know what you mean here. My voices aren’t even the same in my non fiction to my fiction stuff. I don’t so much as struggle to accept that I have both these parts as I do know which to focus on first!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can relate to this post. Fiction/non-fiction/poetry – oh, and journalism. The latter brings in some money and I do sometimes resent how my other selves have to go into hiding so often when I’ve features to write.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nope…we aren’t expelling anything…we need the alter ego for when we have to get into character….
    The perks of being a writer yea…
    I haven’t started writing fiction yet but I’ll remember to bring the alter ego out when it is time..I enjoyed reading this…and the bits of humour did it for me

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Alternative post title “Justifying Schizophrenia.” The only career validating multiple personalities as a bonus. Admirable variation in writing too. The well being stuff is such a bonus if it inspires people to change life habits and elevate from low moods so kudos there. I’ve a few posts on mindfulness from a Kindness Challenge last May. Its running again this year so it might be something you’d like to participate in. The audience reach is excellent too and I met some wonderful people through it.

    Don’t know about you, but for me immersing into a fiction world I find mind altering. Becoming, say, Joe Stringer, leaves me quite drained afterwards…authors must be hell to live with type of thing lol. Great post Shelley 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have indeed; there’s link to it on my blog. I saw your reference to factual writing and thought it might be right up your street; more so if you can signpost your books at the same time??

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a really interesting way to look at writing. I’m thinking of writing fiction again soon & can absolutely see how we become a bit J&H with our writing. It’s actually almost a useful technique to apply when one delves into one’s imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have visions of you morphing into Ms. Hyde now, like Jamie Lee Curtis in ‘True Lies’ when she uses the flower water to slick back her hair and makes her dress shorter whist applying copious amounts of red lippy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve never managed to really corner myself into one genre… from comedy to serious, romance to mystery… I may not just have the Jekyll and Hyde thing going on, but a whole Multiple Writing Personality Disorder!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely have a few different personalises hiding out – I like to write horror mainly but I like to dabble in regular nice stories from my Nan’s time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a helpful post! Sometimes I feel like my more immature side is something I should squish down, but at the same time, some of my best writing happens when I’m indulging the side of me I wouldn’t necessarily show my adult friends. Thanks for letting me know other writers have two sides as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I mostly write humor but occasionally my passion for a topic cannot be expressed through satire or humor and I get serious. It is rewarding to be able to switch into this other ‘character’ and helps me realize that no writer is truly one dimensional if he or she indulges in some stretching. I like the way you have compared to Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wicked awesomesauce, Shelley! I’d never thought of my writer’s brain as being similar to Jekyll and Hyde, but it makes perfect sense! However, mine seem to coexist at the same time – my poor family! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I read this and I liked it.
    I read this and I loved it.
    I read this and…hey, what are you doing here again, oh sorry, yes, Shelley, I agree 100% – as writers we tap into many places and parts of our minds, and hey, sometimes it’s good to shine a light there and sweep away the cobwebs. 😉
    Dropped by from Suzie’s #BigUpYourBlog #SocialSaturday but always, always glad to be here.
    Hope this weekend treats you kindly.

    Liked by 1 person

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