The title of this post is an inside joke for Scapers and I’d take far longer than necessary to explain it to anyone else. The point is, my head plays home to several voices. But “Don’t Panic!” because it’s not a symptom of some psychological disorder, simply another factor separating writers from the rest of society.
A few weeks ago, my mind (somewhat) randomly decided that my Inner Editor’s name is Bettina. It’s nice that she has a name, though, because now I have a more personal way to yell at her when she interferes with my ability to get work done.
Some of my writer friends and I have discussed on many occasions the voices that exist in our minds. These voices are different from auditory hallucinations, however. They whisper constantly and never go away, but they’re a writer’s connexion to the unconscious mind. The source of inspiration. The bridge between the mundane of our lives and the fantastic realms we dedicate our time to creating for others. These voices are a branch in the imagination tree I’ve mentioned before.
And they keep me (in)sane.
Without inner voices conversing throughout my days (and my nights—they never go away, remember?), I don’t know how I’d survive more than five minutes. Bettina et. al. entertain me when I’m bored. Through them, every tiny trivial thing that crosses my path has the potential to become something great.
My favourite example of this is the way J.M. Barrie’s mind is shown in Finding Neverland. There’s a scene where Johnny Depp’s character is shown watching the Llewelyn-Davies children jump up-and-down on their beds. As Barrie/Depp observes, the children rise up and fly out the open window. This, of course, is the cinematic version of Barrie’s thought-process, illustrating how he took events from his reality and hyperbolised a way for his characters to get to Neverland. This is always the first scene that comes to mind when I think of the film because it represents the mindset of creative writers with such accuracy.
Back to Bettina et. al. >>> the reason for their existence, I believe, is to help writers stay on that bridge between the conscious and unconscious. Which is probably why I can never manage to shut my mind off.
You know that whole meditation thing? Yeah, all that does is allow the voices to get louder as they fight for control over who must be heard above the others. In my case, it’s either story ideas that won’t wait for me to finish my current works-in-progress, or a random song selection from the infinite music I’ve heard throughout my life, which is forever stored in the crevices of my brain.
The voices aren’t always the most intelligent, but they provide good company. As long as they stop keeping me awake at night, they’re welcome to stay.