Friday, June 08, 2007

Know Thyself

What kind of writer are you?

A friend sent me this description of an empath, which fits me to a tee. It made me wonder, are all writers/artists like this? Here's the description (see if it fits you):

Empaths are highly sensitive. This is the term commonly used in describing one's abilities (sensitivity) to another's emotions and feelings. Empaths have a deep sense of knowing that accompanies empathy and are often compassionate, considerate, and understanding of others.

Empaths are often poets in motion. They are the born writers, singers, and artists with a high degree of creativity and imagination. They are known for many talents as their interests are varied, broad and continual, loving, loyal and humorous.

Empaths are often very affectionate in personality and expression, great listeners and counselors (and not just in the professional area). They will find themselves helping others and often putting their own needs aside to do so. In the same breath, they can be much the opposite. They may be quiet, withdrawn from the outside world, loners, depressed, neurotic, lifes daydreamers, or even narcissistic.They are most often passionate towards nature and respect its bountiful beauty. One will often find empaths enjoying the outdoors, beaches, walking, etc. Empaths may find themselves continually drawn to nature as a form of release. It is the opportune place to recapture their senses and gain a sense of peace in the hectic lives they may live.

Empaths are sensitive to TV, videos, movies, news and broadcasts. Violence or emotional dramas depicting shocking scenes of physical or emotional pain inflicted on adults, children or animals can bring an empath easily to tears. At times, they may feel physically ill or choke back the tears. Some empaths will struggle to comprehend any such cruelty, and will have grave difficulty in expressing themselves in the face of another's ignorance, closed-mindedness and obvious lack of compassion. They simply cannot justify the suffering they feel and see.

Here are the listeners of life. Empaths are often problem solvers, thinkers, and studiers of many things. As far as empaths are concerned, where a problem is, so too is the answer. They often will search until they find one--if only for peace of mind.

This is probably why I lean towards delving deep into my characters feelings and motivations. Some of the thriller writers that I have come to know, I couldn't really imagine fitting this description. So, I'm thinking to find your own niche as a writer--the one that would be truest to your own nature, make you happiest and have the greatest chance at success--you really need to know yourself!


Anonymous said...

Pearl S. Buck, (1892-1973), recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938, said the following about Highly Sensitive People:

"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:

A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.

To him... a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.

Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating." -Pearl S. Buck

Shannon said...

I love, love, love that quote Christian. One of my favorites. Makes me feel like I'm not nuts...or alone.

spyscribbler said...

Wow, that fits me, too! I've had to learn to protect myself, in a way, from other people's problems.

Shannon said...

Yeah, it's a fine balance isn't it? Between caring about people and getting stuck in the corner at parties trying to comfort the one person in the room who has decided to use you as a counselor/kleenex. It's very draining being in public and feeling everyone else's emotions. I think that's why I like this whole internet thing so much. Great barrier!

Anonymous said...

I've had that on my wall since I was in high school. Though I never knew there was such a "thing" as empath (or HSP - Highly Sensitive People), I always knew that I didn't process the world like other's did and do. It's been a rough journey, but I've learned a lot. I wish you well on your own journey, Shannon.

Shannon said...

Ah, Christian. I knew there was a reason I liked you. Kindred spirit that you are. :-) Maybe it's a prerequisite to the need to create.