Microbiology for Writers

Right now, your cells are dividing and multiplying.  They are tirelessly synthesizing protein and breaking down waste.  Right now, your cells are working on a masterpiece and, from one writer to another, this prompts me to ask:  shouldn’t you be doing the same?

Inside your cells are microscopic structures called organelles.  They each have a specific function that is needed to help a cell survive and thrive.  As writers, we have the same features.  We may not call them organelles and they may not be tangible objects, but they do work in similar ways.  They are the tool box that we must have to function as a writer.  

  • Cell Membrane:  This is the semi-permeable barrier that surrounds a cell.  It allows certain objects to enter and leave the cell such as proteins and nutrients.  As writers, we have to put a membrane around ourselves when we write.  We must close out parts of the world so we can concentrate and think and create.  We must sometimes block out phone calls or television or certain websites on the Internet.  We must form a semi-permeable barrier that holds in the ideas and releases the distractions.  It’s an important survival tool for a writer.
  • The Nucleus: This is the brain and the heart of the cell.  It houses genetic information and controls the functions of the cell.   When we form an idea, a story line, an inspirational verse, our heart and mind become connected to the piece.  Every chosen word has our fingerprint on it.  As a writer, we must use both feeling and thought to express ideas.  Without the nucleus, we wouldn’t survive and neither would our work.
  • The Endoplasmic Reticulum:  This is an extensive network of flattened membrane sacs that are used for transport and storage of life sustaining protein.  This would be the place that writers transport and store their ideas and words.  Without life experiences and memories, our work would fall flat.  We need an Endoplasmic Reticulum to transport and store our memories, our feelings and the words we want to use.
  • The Golgi Apparatus – This organelle processes the protein, enhancing it with fats and sugars. This is the tool that writers use to add depth to their writing.  Details are added, characters are flushed out and color is revealed.  The Golgi Apparatus will make your work memorable.
  • Mitochondria – This is the main site for the cell to create energy.  Writers need energy and this tool can be used to give excitement to your work or creative energy to your body.  Remember that you enjoy writing. Remember that you need to feed your body and your mind.  Replenish and when you do, put some energy and excitement into your piece by keeping the idea of the Mitochondria close at hand.
  • The Lysosomes – these are extremely important organelles as they contain powerful digesting enzymes.  When other organelles wear out or waste is found in the cell, the Lysosome has the power to break it down and remove it from the cell.  Use this feature carefully.  Don’t let it destroy your ideas or your motivation.  Don’t let it discourage but use it wisely as your editor, as the tool that will help to tighten your story.  It is okay for some things to be removed from your work.

The organelles inside a human cell are microscopic miracles and so are the talents of a writer.  We all function differently; we all produce something unique and yet we all have similar tools that we use to churn out the written word.  We think thoughts that others don’t think.  We push ourselves when no one is standing over our shoulder, demanding a product.

From the very inner workings of your cells to the limitless possibilities of your mind, you are a writer.  You are driven and filled with thought.  You, my friend, are a miracle.

Brandon headshotBrandon Paul owns notebooks. Lots of them. In every size. And in these notebooks, he writes. In 2014 he used these notebooks to write every day of his 38th year; in 2016 you’ll get to read this book. Stay tuned.

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