Fashioning Your Shadow

“It’s the hidden, less-examined, and less developed part of us that we don’t want to admit is there, within us”

is Linda Seger’s definition for the Shadow in her book Making a Good Writer Great. Being a writer, she recommends that you connect with your Shadow through writing.

But I have a better way, and if you’re reading this blog you probably do too: Second Life. Is there a side of you that has to live in your public shadow? Have you had to be the “good girl”, the “responsible one”, the “disciplinarian” or the “giver” all your life? Is there a part of you that NEEDS expression? As Seger goes on to say,

“Not all of the qualities are fundamentally negative. . . . Many people would consider spontaneity and impulsiveness just as important as being responsible and disciplined.”

My job is filled with rules. There are rules regarding the data I transfer from one system to another, the way transactions are handled, the computer users who are allowed to use them, and the way the transactions are summarized and presented to the public. My approach to implementing a system is governed by another set of rules as is the whole profession to which I belong. There are times when I just want to shout, “no more rules!”

So, when I created the character Licentious, I decided he would not be governed by rules. He could be irresponsible if he chose. He could bend, fold, mutilate and spindle the rules if he wanted to. What did it turn out that he wanted most to do? He wanted to write. He wanted to be spontaneous and try something he’d never done before. Funny thing: I came to like and admire my Shadow.

How do you feel about yours? As the old time radio show goes: “Only the Shadow knows for sure.”


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