Who Anchors Your Artistic Chain of Influence?

Anchor chain

As writers, we often believe we were born to write.

I certainly have early memories of my writing life.  My first “novel” – a masterpiece inspired by the cartoon Jem and the Holograms – was “published” in grade three.  I haven’t really stopped writing since.

“It’s in my blood,” I’ve heard writers claim.  “I couldn’t not do it.”  And I find, for the most part, that I agree.

However, I’ve never been one to champion Nature as the sole determinant of anything.  Especially after reading a recent blog post by literary marketing expert Dan Blank about an artist’s chain of influence, which led me to examine my own early writing influences.

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You Can’t Choose Your Family (Or Your Upstairs Apartment Neighbours)

In some ways, living in an apartment is worse than living at home with your family.

Not exactly movin' on up.

Not exactly movin’ on up.

Admittedly, apartment living isn’t all bad: it makes it possible for those not blessed with boatloads of money to live in urban areas.

As well, as an environmentalist, I’m definitely in favour of the densification that results from apartment living, as well as the concentration of resources like transit and amenities like shops and cafés that tend to spring up around apartment buildings.

However, when you live in an apartment (or condo, or university residence, or any other such non-detached living space), compared to living with your family, you can’t tell the people living among you what to do.

Correction: you can, but your family is far less likely to tell you to go f*ck yourself.

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