Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Two Sides to an Author

How many authors have dual natures?

As creative types, we're encouraged to nurture the right brain, that part responsible for helping us create the stories we write. When I was in school, there was a divide between the "smart" students and the "creative" ones. The former excelled at math and science. The latter impressed with drawing, writing, any endeavor that required the imagination.

Since I was terrible at math, I thought this was the way it was. For years. Until I attended aviation ground school and fell in love with physics. (No, I don't fly planes. I studied aviation briefly but had to give it up. Poor depth perception.)

For the first time, I found a science (besides biology) I could relate to and understand (to a certain point). I could apply physics to daily life, even if I didn't understand the more complex aspects of it.

But I wasn't a scientist. I didn't have the propensity for analytical thought. Or did I?

I don't know if it's still done, but when I was in school, our English assignments often included essays on argument and persuasion. In other words, we needed to convince an audience over to our side. We presented the argument (premise) then backed up our POV with facts, quotes, anything that would help our cause.

This may have been the reason I initially considered going into journalism. And I was a freelance magazine writer for a couple of local publications for a short time. Then I decided to return to creative writing.

I've also learned something over these last few years. Science and technology aren't to be feared. I love technology and would rather spend more time in a computer store than shop for clothes. (Okay, I'm still not a big fan of math.) Since a lot of my writing requires research, I use the analytical part of my mind to focus on that aspect then switch to my right brain to write the story. Not saying I use both sides of my brain successfully, but I have found a pretty good compromise.


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