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