This post has been percolating in my head for a while and I wasn’t sure when I’d write it, then I read this post of the INTERN’s and it gave me the nudge I needed.
Long story short, I’ve recently figured out writers think / work / produce differently than other people. That our brains work differently. I’m not trying to pretend this is news or an earth-shattering revelation or anything, but, a recent episode of Ideas on CBC radio sparked this thought process and then INTERN kept it going, so time for a post about it.
First, backstory. One of the things I get paid to write is a document called the BCR (Biographical Career Report). BCRs are usually at least 50 pages long and go into great detail about how someone likes to learn, make decisions and plan, as well as what gets them involved in situations and the conditions they like to work under. For each section (e.g. learning) there are about 10 choices. So, you can learn by “Studying and Reading”, by “Learning and Doing”, etc. The interesting thing is, often, when I’m debriefing the client 0n this document, we’ll be talking about the way they like to learn and they’ll say “well, what other way is there?”
Which is a huge teachable moment. Because, according to the template, there are nine other ways to learn and, I would argue, in real life there are probably even more than that. Or, at least, more specific descriptions of the ways. And so I often end up saying to people that there are other ways and these other ways aren’t wrong, just different, and maybe some of the trouble they might be having at work comes from the fact that they work one way and others work in other ways and neither one is right; they’re just not the same. Basic but important info.
So, you’d think I’d be up on all this sort of stuff and hyper-aware but, I tell you, listening to Ideas the other night gave me a lightbulb moment. The gist of it was that – they call them “geniuses” but I’m not about to include myself in that category so I’ll say “artists” – have different thought processes, internal brain workings, whatever you want to call it.
One of the main things discussed was that people who are deeply committed to their craft / art / life’s work often seem to have thoughts / theories / creations pop into their head as if by magic.
And, they did use a real-life genius as an example, Sir Paul McCartney who, it’s said, woke up one day with the tune to “Yesterday” in his head. It sounded familiar to him, and nice, and he asked lots of people of it was some song he just couldn’t place (like a toothpaste jingle perhaps?) but, no. Nobody had ever heard it before and it has gone on to become apparently the most covered / played / recorded / popular song in history.
Not that I’m anything like Paul McCartney but that so happens to me. All the time. Now, as the Ideas show pointed out, there’s a lot of work that goes in ahead of time. Like you have to be pretty much immersed in the subject to have these “spontaneous” ideas appear. And there’s lots of work after in honing and revising and whatever it might be depending on your particular field. But the “Eureka” or “Aha” moments are definitely there and can be pinpointed quite easily.
I think this is a bit of what INTERN was referring to when she talked about getting out in the world and getting some space so the ideas can start flowing again. She even says, “It’s like there’s a part of your brain that can only know certain things when it’s taken away from the computer, and by going for a walk you let the genius loci take over and fill in the blanks.” Amen to that INTERN.
It’s only been by realizing my brain works this way that I’ve realized some other people’s brains don’t. I’ve never understood people who say they hate writing or find it such a tough slog or have no idea what to write because I’ve always just thought “well, sit back and relax and the story will come to you.” I figured what these people really weren’t into was the editing, revision, etc.
Now I realize not everyone has stories pop into their heads. Which is probably good. Because it’s important that, in this world, some people have designs for bridges pop into their heads. And others spontaneously have a great idea for how to stop the growth of cancer cells. It’s probably also good that some people are more straightforward and not distracted by all this idea-popping and can figure things out in a logical fashion, start to finish and keep the world running smoothly.
To be honest, if you just listen to the Ideas podcast you’ll probably get a better grasp on this whole thing. I promise you, it is interesting. At least to me. Which, come to think of it, doesn’t mean it will be interesting to you. Because we could be different that way…test Filed under Uncategorized | Comment (0)