Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Creativity Jumpstart: Projective Identification

It's said that a problem or premise can be viewed from two distinctive points of view -- the observer viewpoint and the merged viewpoint. Today's creativity method focuses on the second viewpoint.
The merged viewpoint occurs when you become the object of the observation. You become the subject of your observation, and you observe from the point of view of your subject. This is referred to as projective identification.
Projective identification can be purely fantasy:
  • What's it like to be a potato about to become French fries?
  • How does it feel like to be a gum stuck in a shoe?
  • Imagine what it's like to be an ink cartridge.
Or it can be empathetic:
  • Seeing the situation through a laborer's eyes
  • Getting inside the skin of an AIDS victim
  • Being in the shoes of a chronically depressed person
For your creative activity today, write 2 short texts (100-200 words) using projective identification for the following:
Fantasy: What's it like to be a picture frame?
Empathetic: Being in the shoes of a petty thief.
Heres a list to try this creative method on. Write in the voice or perspective of the following:
  • a banana about to go bad
  • a woman unable to conceive
  • a spare tire
  • a harassed telephone operator
  • a Band-Aid
  • an owner whose business is about to go bankrupt
  • a blank diskette
  • a guy about to break up with his girlfriend
  • a computer keyboard
  • a woman about to give an answer to a marriage proposal

Copyright © Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ

About Shery: Shery is the creator of WriteSparks!™- a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks!™ Lite for free at

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Thank you for reading. Keep writing!


  1. Interesting post. Lots of ideas to jumpstart your writing. Oh the possibilities.

  2. I can relate to this post, Virginia. We've had an amazing discussion on my own lifestyle blog over the past week about how positive people deal with negative people.

    One of the approaches suggested by one of my readers is as you recommend. Being empathetic, by trying to put yourself in the negative person's shoes and trying to figure out WHY they are being negative. Is it habit? Does it reflect unfortunate past bad experiences? Do they have medical issues that help bring them down?

    You may wish to drop into that conversation. You'll find it at: Feel free to link it back here if you like.

    Found you via Blog Jog Day! I'm having a good one!

    Doreen Pendgracs