Is being an author written in your DNA like brown eyes and freckles?


Clackety-clack Image: Pixabay

After Wednesday’s groan-athon, where I attempted to turn whiny introspection into an art form, and realising that I probably focus on rejection way too much in these posts, I thought I’d write something rather more positive.

A couple of days ago, my other half was reading my first blog post for Mslexia. After the odd wry smile*, he finally said,

Bloody hell, it’s tough, isn’t it?

By this I don’t think he meant writing blog pieces was tough – cos that’s as easy as falling off a stack of the complete Encyclopaedia Britannica – but that the road to being a paid author is tough.

The comment made me look at the whole endeavour with fresh eyes.

Yes, it’s tough. Few people who love to write can do so professionally, fewer still full time. And it’s only the top tiny percent who become so rich they make Croesus look like the Clampetts pre oil strike.

But that doesn’t phase most of us, because that’s not why we do it.


We write because words are part of our DNA, woven into our genetic make up as much as brown eyes and a tendency to freckle. 

We write because at some point, we have fallen into the whirlpool of a book, drowned in its world, felt the emotional tug of its characters – we’ve inhaled the magic of the best stories. And we’ve thought, even subconsciously,

“Dammit, I’d love to do that for someone else”

We write for the fleeting joy when a scene, a phrase – even a mere word – feels right.

We write because we grow to love our characters, they live in our minds and whisper at our shoulders, telling us what they wish to do next – what they WILL do next – and we want to be along for the ride.

We write because we want to prise open the door on the worlds we created and say to others, ‘Come on, take a look. Share this with me.’

We write for Joy and Love and even for the Pain we feel as our best created friends slip from us.

We write because we have to.


At least, that’s why I write.

So all my writer pals out there, tell me why you write.

Fame? Fortune? The possibility of appearing on Radio 2’s book club with Simon Mayo (oh, yes please)? Or is it just because if you don’t, the stories will build up until your head bursts a la Scanners?



*My husband has been with me for twenty five years, so he’s heard all my gags now – it’s tough to make him really laugh. Carry on reading this blog until the year 2040 and you will no doubt feel the same.


10 thoughts on “Is being an author written in your DNA like brown eyes and freckles?

    1. Yes, you feel a connection, don’t you? A sense of ‘yes, exactly – I’m so glad you get that too.’ I do think if you are going to write successfully, you need to have that drive, too – as you say, it has to feel like the right thing for you to do, even if it’s not quite going right at that moment :). Thanks for reading, Nooryak

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I would take the fortune, but I can do without the fame. Not cut out for it, can’t handle the spotlight, the microscope, what have you. It’s a very good thing I didn’t have the talent to be a rock star, which was my dream growing up. I could learn to play other people’s stuff, but I couldn’t come up with my own. Just not creative musically. For awhile I was like Salieri in the film Amadeus, wondering “Why implant the desire…and deny me the talent?!” But I made peace with it. I’m better with putting words on a page, anyway. Still waiting for the fortune, though. It’s coming, right? Right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely! Would love an income (not even really asking for a fortune, honest) but fame? Nah. Horrible thing. People would look at me – yuck 🙂 And I’ve never heard you play (what do you play, by the way? I imagine Walt would play perhaps a flugelhorn or something medieval – a serpent or a lute) but words are definitely your forte. Unless you’re a terrible show off and have more than one. Stick with the writing kid – you’ll go far. BTW have you ever published a novel? If so, is it on Amazon and what’s the title? And if the answer is ‘no’ – then why not? 🙂


      1. I could totally see Walt playing a flugelhorn. Or maybe a French horn. I myself dabbled with the trombone in middle school & high school. But none of those work well in the rock genre, except in certain Beatles or Wings songs. The guitar was my thing. The battle axe. Can’t tell you how many hours I spent in my bedroom playing Metallica and Iron Maiden riffs. But alas, those days are long past and I rarely touch the thing anymore. As for the novel, not yet, but soonishly, I hope. I’ve completed three screenplays over the years, but I doubt anyone would want to buy them for their ereader! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, brass fits well on Sargeant Peppers, doesn’t it? Are you bass or lead guitar?
        Is your novel in progress or at the plotting stage? Whichever, I look forward very much to reading it – exciting times


      3. Both, but usually the lesser talent gets bumped to bass, I think. That was me in the band I was in for a short time, but guitar was of course my first love, as it is for every teenage male rock star wannabe.

        I supposed you’d say the plotting stage, but I’m a little concerned because the screenplays I wrote pretty much wrote themselves in my head before I started. For this, that’s not happening. I think I’ll just have to begin and trust my internal critic to course correct as we go. Thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I dunno, I love a good, strong bass. New Model Army had a strong bass emphasis early in their music, which gave their tunes a certain power.
        I find plotting terrible tricky – how much to plan, whether to plan or wing it. I’ve started to try writing a synopsis first, merely because I had to rewrite my novel about four times after winging the plotting. Not sure if this will work with the sequel, we’ll see.
        I look forward very much to reading your book – no false flattery intended 🙂


    1. Yes. Sometimes difficult to remind yourself, especially if things are going badly – how much you love it and that things have gone well before and will do again. These things are cyclical – the ups will come round again soon 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.