Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Creativity and Talent - One and the Same?
The question is how many of those creative people are also talented at their choice of expression?
A while back I read an article in National Geographic about hypergraphia - The driving compulsion to write; the overwhelming urge to write. Hypergraphia may compel someone to keep a voluminous journal, to jot off frequent letters to the editor, to write on toilet paper if nothing else is available, and perhaps even to compile a dictionary. (From MediciNet.com)
[I left out the last sentence of this definition, by the way, and tomorrow I'll explain why.]
I thought this sounded heavenly, maybe I could catch that neurological disorder and have a constant drive. Yet the more I read about it and thought about it, the more I understood two things: the first, I do have my own compulsions to write. I may not write on toilet paper while in the bathroom, but I do feel compelled to write my ideas. The second thing I realized, and perhaps the more disturbing of the two, is that none of this promises any talent.
My teachers have always beat Edison's words into me: "Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." I have a few lazy bones in my body so it only worked to some extent thus far in my life. That is - working hard, paid off. Shocking, I know
What about writing, though? Since a true creative work requite both the drive and the talent, what to do about that 1% talent? Worry about it, or concentrate on making it to the 99% rather than the 75% (which is where I think I hover at the moment)?
I will add here that many believe the drive to be more important than the talent. I tend to disagree. This has to do with one of the discucssions we had here about the kinds of writers - do you, as a writer, aim for art or for entertainment?
I think it is rather obvious that those who wish to achieve a glimpse of art in their work, need some talent in addition to drive.
Finally, if the frontal lobes are important in "providing the judgment and flexibility of thought that underlines talent," and "structures in the temporal lobes and limbic system supply drive and motivation" - will there be a time where we could simply take pills to increase one or the other?
[The quotes are from a print National Geographic issue which I found a(n illegal?) copy of it here.]
Categories: writing, creative
Posted by Melly at 8:32 AM