Origins of Talent

I’m a writer.  I’m also a reader.  I read a lot of author blogs and articles about writing.  There are writers, such as myself, that make offhanded comments about drinking a case of wine, a bottle of vodka etc.  I’ve also written (and read) about characters in our heads.  Don’t call the psychiatric ward just yet.  Often writers, such a myself, have characters, dialogue and yes, even voices swimming around in our head and we call that creativity.  A hundred years ago, they’d hook you up to electrodes and shock you or force you to have a seizure to take care of that sort of sickness.

While I have been known to occasionally drink a vodka tonic or six while writing (not recommended unless you enjoy editing – a lot) it tends to be a character trait of a writer to indulge or overindulge.  We envision our writers sitting at a desk, buried in paper with a pot of overcooked coffee at the ready.


Writing the last few chapters of the current book I’m working on has got me to thinking about where talent or creativity comes from.  Talent is subjective – I think.  But from a writer’s perspective, we can have the talent of crafting the words, but you must have creativity for the stories to be interesting.  If not, people stop reading by page two.  So I started to do a little research.  The word “created”  was first noted in 1393 but the term creativity didn’t come about until 1875 and it surrounded the crafting of words, words in the form of poetry.

Now I have zero appreciation for poetry.  I don’t enjoy reading poetry at all.  It annoys me somehow (I blame college.)  Back to the point, the word creativity originated because of writing.  Which then got me to thinking, where does it come from?

I have talented and creative people in my family.  My great uncle is a famous painter, Wayne Cooper.  I have an aunt who is  a sculptor and several young artists in my family.  To my knowledge, I’m the first and maybe only writer in my family.  That doesn’t necessarily mean talent or creativity is genetic.

Truth is, I have no idea where the ideas come from, where the creativity is is born.  It seems to be an overly active part of my brain.

So what about you?  Where do you think your creativity comes from?  Does it run in your family?


9 thoughts on “Origins of Talent

  1. My grandfather, who died decades before my time, was a somewhat famous country and western singer. However, I don’t see a great deal of creativity in my family. I don’t think of myself as that creative either though. I just want to be creative. I don’t think I have a lick of talent in any of the arts, but that drive to tell a story through some medium – art, music, writing – is strong in me. So I have pressed forward even if it hasn’t come easy.

  2. Interesting blog. I come from a family of musicians and I was brought up learning to play many of them. They were all pretty good at art but I was the first one to move away from music as a goal in life. I can’t say what made me go down that road, there was just something about art that captivated me, it was the way it made me feel inside. I felt as if I could completely disappear into my working process. There was no doubts in my mind that I had found what I wanted to do with my life. Music is incredibly important to me though and I listen to it every single day. This doesn’t really answer your question, but it made me think about the mind. Did you know that the brain of a creative person, (usually artists, writers and musicians) is significantly different from no creative people. This discovery supports the claim that some people are born with such tendencies. One other thing, and this is fascinating and makes sense. The brain waves of someone creative is much closer to the brain waves of someone who is schizophrenic than to that of a fit and healthy mind. Schizophrenics find it difficult to tell the difference between reality and imagination, whereas creatives visit these imaginary worlds but know that it isn’t reality. That is the only difference. Scary and interesting.

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