Monday, October 20, 2008

Writer Brain vs. Artist Brain

How is the writer's brain different from the artist's brain?

I know several people (Davis, Sarah Frances, Miles, Eve) who are both writers and artists and I wonder what their take is on this. Does writing mostly tap in to the intuitive side of the brain (as art does) or the linear side of the brain (as science does)? Or both simultaneously?

My sister and I were raised by two people who were not in the arts, but very early she emerged as an artist and I, a writer. If asked to draw or paint, I literally feel like I've stroked out and am unable to tell my hand what to do; I just don't know how to translate what I see into something on paper unless I'm using words. My sister has the opposite problem.

It's fascinating, really. Thoughts?

Bonus question: Art brain and writer brain meet for a cage fight. Who wins?


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, in your childhood, artist won, but I think your adult words have been able to take the sting out of it.

pjanie said...

All scientific bets are off when the topic is between sisters. There are no crossovers!

My sister is a teacher, I'm an artist. She doesn't paint, I wouldn't think of teaching anything.

Cathy Gersich said...

I think the writer is an artist and that those who use words and those who use images are using the same parts of the brain. It's the left brained linear people that we differ from.

The bigger question is what is different about the artist's (including writers, muscisians, storytellers...) and the scientist's brain?
Why are their so many left-handed leaders?

Anonymous said...

Bonus question: Art brain and writer brain meet for a cage fight. Who wins?
It's the same brain so they get together and kick-ass on the left-brain.

Hardygirl said...

I think more in terms of "right brain" and "left brain", and I've always lumped the writer part of my brain in with the artist part because they are both creative thought processes--"right brain."

I actually have the strange brain that thinks both creatively and linearly--I've always been a math whiz and a logical thinker while painting with a big drippy brush. Aptitude tests always suggested that I should be an architect or some sort of engineer.

I don't know what this means, but my right-minded art brain has definitely won out (thank goodness!). I now use my linear thinking skills to organize my children's activity calendars and to figure out their school forms.

My guess would be that you are using both sides as well--I'd put the writing as a "right brain" activity and all of the crafting and organizing of your writing (including all of your cool Mayan puzzly math storylines) as "left brain."

Sarah Frances