I’m a geek. ThinkGeek is a good day of shopping. Where else can you get a t-shirt with a Ferrous Wheel on it? Being able to research any question I have thanks to Google is awesome. And I’m all sorts of excited that there is a new X-men movie due out this June. I’m the adult who as a kid went door to door selling garden seeds to earn a microscope or telescope. BTW, thank you to all those people who aided my cause—I still have the microscope and have great memories of watching the night sky through the telescope aimed out my window when I was supposed to be sleeping. 🙂
I think my geekiness stems from a constant curiosity. How’s this work? Where’d that saying come from? What’s the difference between this and that? Is all the sand on this beach really from the ocean or do they truck some of it in from somewhere else? Seriously…4-5 blocks away from the water and there’s still sand! At what point does it become a dessert instead of a beach?
A couple books have come my way over the last few years and I find them especially interesting because I know the author or someone in the author’s family. While the books are good entertainment and are meant to be pure fiction, I see pieces of the author—the biases, emotions, beliefs, hopes, disappointments, habits, fears, humor, and personality of the real person emerge while writing a fictional story. (Good or bad, I see it in my own writing too.)
Being aware of “author injection” brings an entirely new layer to the experience of reading and writing. A stranger reading the book has no idea what is purely fiction and what is a piece of the author’s life, but a friend or even acquaintance reading the book thinks, Whoa! That’s so Joe! (or whatever the author’s name is) I think the amazing part of it is that “Joe” may not even realize it’s him. In the case of Steven King, I’m morbidly curious how much is him. But then again, that could be one of those things for which I regret learning the answer.
What intrigues me about author injection is this: Do we perform “author injection” onto other people we interact with? In other words, do we see other people for who they are, or do we only see various actions and then fill in their story with our own ideas/biases/beliefs? If we do, it works both ways.
The geek in me thinks that author injection is important. There’s the obvious impact it can have on our relationships with others, but there’s a more subtle lesson as well…. What’s your own author injection doing to your life?
Let me explain via an example:
The person who lies all the time thinks it’s normal. They’re used to the way people treat them, the way they treat others, and they have no idea that everyone else isn’t as stressed over eventually being caught in a lie. It’s all they’ve ever known.
The person who doesn’t lie all the time thinks that honesty is normal. They know the rewards for living an honest and honorable life and it’s easy for them to see the harm the liar is doing personally and socially. They’ve been lied to and have lied themselves, but that isn’t how they choose to live most of the time.
Now imagine that you’re the liar in that example. Via author injection, do you know why lying is the story you live? And just as importantly, what if you could see through another author’s eyes…what if you could glimpse a different version or yourself and see a different ending to your own story?
Now for the really powerful part of author injection, imagine that author injection is what’s really happening in some area of your life that’s causing you pain, grief, or stress.
Apply that to a health issue, a friendship, a marriage, your work. The possibilities are endless. Ask yourself if your own author injection is preventing you from seeing a solution. What if instead of thinking, That’s just the way it is, you asked yourself, What if it doesn’t have to be this way? If anyone else anywhere is living the story you wish you could, then it’s possible (and even highly likely) that your own author injection is hi-jacking your success and enjoyment. Don’t let that happen. It’s okay to put down a bad book and find a better read. 😉
Be a geek for a day and ask how life could be more fulfilling, happier, and healthier.
Like Spock says, live long and prosper.