Artsy Fartsy

Neither of my parents is a writer or an artist. My mom is a retired nurse. My dad is a college professor who teaches business administration and communication and operations research. Yet somehow, my brothers and I all wound up in creative professions. My brother O is an architect. Y is a musician and animator.

I wonder if that’s a coincidence, or a product of nurture. Mom was the type of mother who signed us up for music and art classes and camps, who bought us books and got us library cards and took us to movies and plays. And then there was our upbringing: We’re the products of a cross-cultural marriage, and grew up in two continents, speaking two languages. I don’t know whether my brothers would say the same, but growing up “different” made me want to express myself. We were also lucky that our parents never expected us to follow a particular career. (The closest my father ever came to being pushy about career choice, at least around me and at least that I can remember, was saying, “It would be nice if one of you became a doctor.” But I think he’d like it even more if one of us became a college professor.)

Then again, writing is such an integral part of my being that I think (but of course I can’t be sure) that I would have become a writer no matter what.

Support creativity by voting for this year’s Million Writers Award winner. I haven’t had time to cast my vote yet, but I hope to before the May 31 deadline.

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