It’s difficult to comprehend that there are approximately 20000 to 25000 genes in human DNA, made up of three billion chemical base pairs. I do feel I have to tag the word ‘allegedly’ here as this information comes courtesy of a well known search engine and I am no scientist. What I am however, is a writer. And I blame at least one of those three billion thingys. It’s not my fault.
Some day, in some far off land and time, some learned being will discover the creative section in the DNA strand, perhaps a single chemical synapse doo dah that is responsible for my urge to write.
My standard response to this inate urge used to be to stick my fingers in my ears and chant, ‘La La La La.’ I told myself not to listen to it, because I had a living to earn and a family to raise. Eventually, I strangled the urge and it became nothing more than an intermittent nag in the furthest folds of my brain. Still there…but definitely muted.
Now my two daughters, who have inherited the silly gene from my DNA, (hereinafter referred to as Strand Bits or SB) have flown the coop and are blissfully embracing their creative sides. Their Dad, my ever supportive, hard working, non creative husband, looks on all three of us smiling. But I know he’s secretly worried about them willing themselves into a life of potential penury. I know too that he wonders where the hell his SB scarpered to.
So why have I used the word ‘silly’ to describe the creative gene? It wasn’t just so you could sing the title to a well known Michael Jackson tune. I also wanted to evoke a harmless, innocent, sometimes misbehaving image - to describe a part of me that’s playful and spontaneous. But the words ‘blame’ and ‘fault’ also appear in the first paragraph seemingly implying that the writing urge is some defect or failure. Sometimes, particularly on receipt of one of the many rejection letters, it feels like it is. So if I could change it, would I? Progress in science already provides us with gene intervention. Would I have them erase my silly gene if I could?
Never. Not now. Not since I understand and embrace this part of my psyche. I only wish I’d been brave enough not to ignore it quite so well when I was younger. I love my job and yes because, as yet, I remain unpublished, it’s taken me a long time to use the word ‘job’ and to say out loud ‘I’m a writer.’ I am. I’m almost certain some yet to be discovered minute part of human SB plays its part in dictating this. And if having the silly gene proves to be my worst defect/failing, I’m a lucky girl.