Wednesday, July 8, 2015

What do Genes Have to Do with Your Writing?

In his Ted Talk titled: TheHidden Influence of Social Networks, Nicholas Christakis states that the % in the variation of how many friends you have is related to your genetic makeup.

It is easier for some to ‘connect’ online with others, or stand in front of a crowd of people, and be transparent. Others are better at research; preferring isolated rooms filled with leather bound musty old books, to conversation with living humans.

Which got me to thinking what influence our genetic makeup has on our writing. A workshop I like to teach- The Mindset of the Writer- was prompted by a read of the book, The Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.. The boiled down essence of the book is: ‘it is not just our abilities and talent that bring us success, but whether we approach our goals with a fixed or growth mindset’.  Think ‘Tortoise and the Hare’.

The bible tells us that God has gifted us individually with unique and individual talents. True. Yet sometimes he places a dream inside us that is bigger than we or our abilities are at the time.

Many an ignorant guidance counselor foiled the dream of a young person, pounding their square peg into a round hole, because he/she believed it was best. “You can not make a living painting pretty pictures, dearie”.

Google ‘starving artist syndrome’.

Fortunately times have changed. With online sales outlets, like Etsy, Pinterest, and self publishing, creative people are finding a way to get paid for what they love to do.

Jamie Ledger posted in his blog speaking to the starving artist syndrome, that this problem isn’t usually the lack of resources as much as it is the lack of resourcefulness.

How can a writer become more resourceful and make up for the lack of what they did not get through genetic inheritance?

Expand your thinking and liberate your mindset.

You’ve long dreamt of becoming a writer. Words come to you. You have stacks of notebooks full of scratches, and receipts with book ideas and precious sentences written on their backs.

I suggest you draw a circle of prayer about your writing dream and then sit down and write, more, and read a little about writing, but write more.

So what do genes have to do with writing? Something. But not everything.

Mark Twain said “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”












Anonymous said...

Diana, I smiled when you mentioned receipts with book ideas written on the back. Beside me, on my blogging sofa, is a pile of scribbled notes. And I keep a file, on my computer, of blurbs and first chapters to satisfy my need to document an idea before I can move forward on a WIP. It's kind of like popping a soother into my muse's mouth, so I can focus on what's at hand. It works. Thanks for helping me feel normal.
Blessings ~ Wendy ❀

Diana Flegal said...

Any time Wendy...but what is normal about a writer :-) Just kidding!

Sally Chambers said...

This gene thing really fascinates me. My maternal grandmother wrote beautiful poetry into her 90s. And coming across my mother's wonderful handwritten beginning of a novel when going through her things after she went to heaven at age 93, only inspired me to continue writing in earnest after I retired. And I see both writing and love of photography in my daughter. I think maybe I'd be easily convinced that it's inherent in our genes! Anyone else see this trail through the generations? Good, thought provoking blog, Diana!

Linda Glaz said...

Amen, Linda says as she keeps hammering at the square peg!!!!

Diana Flegal said...

Sally, what a wonderful writing heritage you have. Linda, you make me snort giggle!