Currently viewing the tag: "self-image"


…right now her most pressing problems were the five blocks between her and the train station, and the sky full of water above her. On the bright side, she didn’t have to worry about the rain smearing her makeup— she just didn’t wear the stuff. One time in college she’d made an abortive try, but the sight of her round face staring back at her from the mirror with the first hint of blush inexpertly applied made her feel like an inexpertly polished turd. Makeup and designer clothes were for some jet set, days-of-wine-and-roses, dating, frolicking-in-front-of-the-cameras subphylum of humanity to which she did not belong. Hospital scrubs and a clean face— this was her lot in life. -Lee Doty, Out of the Black

Writing Prompt: Write a self-description for your protagonist. How does it differ from your description?

Journaling Prompt: Write a description of yourself.

Art Prompt: Self-portrait

Photo Credit: rharrison on Flickr

woman looks at sky

The pros and cons of narcissism is fascinating as we watch our culture gets more and more narcissistic. I’ve included just a snippet of the information. If you are writing characters, you’ll want to read the entire article and follow the links in it for more information.

For years, psychologists have observed that people routinely overestimate their abilities, said study leader Dominic Johnson, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Some experts have suggested that overconfidence can be a good thing, perhaps by boosting ambition, resolve, and other traits, creating self-fulfilling prophecies.

But positive self-delusion can also lead to faulty assessments, unrealistic expectations, and hazardous decisions, according to the study—making it a mystery why overconfidence remains a key human trait despite thousands of years of natural selection, which typically weeds out harmful traits over generations.

Now, new computer simulations show that a false sense of optimism, whether when deciding to go to war or investing in a new stock, can often improve your chances of winning. -Christine Dell’Amore, National Geographic News

Writing Prompt: What is your character overconfident about? How does that benefit her? How does that cause her to make risky decisions?

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you were overconfident and how that affected your decision-making.

Art Prompt: Overconfidence

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the benefits of overconfidence

Photo Credit: Mustafa Khayat on Flickr


Have you ever wondered what people are getting out of playing video games? I always thought it was pure escapism, but it seems that it is much more than that.

“A game can be more fun when you get the chance to act and be like your ideal self,” explained Dr. Przybylski. “The attraction to playing videogames and what makes them fun is that it gives people the chance to think about a role they would ideally like to take and then get a chance to play that role.”

The research found that giving players the chance to adopt a new identity during the game and acting through that new identity — be it a different gender, hero, villain — made them feel better about themselves and less negative.

Looking at the players’ emotion after play as well their motivation to play, the study found the enjoyment element of the videogames seemed to be greater when there was the least overlap between someone’s actual self and their ideal self.

“When somebody wants to feel they are more outgoing and then plays with this personality it makes them feel better in themselves when they play,” explained Dr. Przybylski. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: What video game would each of your characters want to play in order to experience being their ideal self? Write about what they are feeling as they play the game.

Journaling Prompt: What is your favorite game? How do you feel when you are playing it? What do you get out of the experience of playing it?

Art Prompt: Video game

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about videogames and alternate personas.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Fritzon on Flickr


I have been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things. -Lisa Yee, Millicent Min, Girl Genius

Writing Prompt: List your character’s weaknesses and strengths. How are her weaknesses actually strengths that will help her in your story? How are her strengths actually weaknesses that will create difficulties for her?

Journaling Prompt: How do people misjudge your strengths as weaknesses?

Art Prompt: Perfectionist

NonFiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about your personal qualities that have a negative connotation generally but that you believe are positive attributes.

Photo Credit: babukadja on Flickr

one laptop per child

People are very complicated, rather than all bad or all good. Even a “good” character may base their behavior on whether they think others will see the consequences of their actions.

…people tend to make decisions on the basis of their self-image. If they believe themselves to be “fair” or “generous,” for example, they avoid actions that are clearly egoistic in nature, so as to avoid contradicting their own self-image. However, if… they are able to ignore the consequences for other people, they find it easier to maintain a positive self-image, even if they their behaviour is selfish. “If the consequences are clearly visible, many participants decide to act fairly,” reports Astrid Matthey: “However, if it is possible to ignore the consequences, it is clearly more difficult to opt for a ‘generous’ decision, and many change their behaviour and select the egoistic alternative.” –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Explore how your characters justify their actions and why. 

Journaling Prompt: How do other people observing you affect your decisions?

Art Prompt: Self-image
Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Talk about motivation in decision making and how appearances affect what we choose to do.

Photo Credit: One Laptop per Child on Flickr