The Perks of Being a Writer

Right brain dominance runs in my family. My mother is a self-made artist; my brother devoted his life to the music business; and, my late father had a flair for developing business models within the corporate structure. My preferred method of madness has always vacillated between acting and the written word. In my thirties, writing replaced my community acting gigs because it became the best way for me to channel a rainbow of emotions that govern my reality at any given moment. I can’t always be on a stage, but I can always write.

My father died prematurely from an overdose of life. His stressful work (where he created new ways to distribute a major coffee brand), smoking, drinking and partying got the better of him at age fifty-seven. My brother is a casualty of alcohol, drugs and rock and roll because it came with his work and runs rampant in his DNA. My mother, who sacrificed her life to care for my stepfather, my brother and anyone else who needs food, shelter and a shoulder to cry on, creates her art to keep sane. I grew up with an overactive imagination in order to process the fall-out of such a dramatic life. The best thing about being right-brained is the adrenalin rush of experiencing life; the worst thing about being right-brained is the adrenalin rush of experiencing life.

My writing has always given my imagination an outlet while helping me to cope with an inordinate amount of feelings. (I also enjoyed receiving praise from my teachers and professors for possessing strong writing skills.) I soon learned that pen and paper, and later the computer, were always there to help me work through my emotions whenever I felt lonely, sad, or overwhelmed. In fact, I don’t know of any writer worth his or her salt who isn’t prone to delicate sensitivities. Emotional heaviness propels our writing and gives it sustenance.

In grade school, I wrote sad stories about children in divorced situations; in middle school, I wrote mystery stories about blended families; in high school, I wrote painful stories about teen angst; in college, I wrote inspiring stories about independent women achieving greatness; and now, in the middle of my life, I am writing about the simple, true meaning of life when everything else falls away. People, through all stages of my life, have commented on my maturity and my strength. It didn’t occur to me until just this moment that I have had the perfect sidekick to get me through tough times. My right brain has stood by me through thick and thin. It is always there to remind me that I have enough creative intelligence to conjure up my own positive reality. Now if you will excuse me, I feel another story begging to be toldâÂ?¦

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