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Life, My Writing

Artist or Scientist: Why can’t I be both?

Arts and science were so segregated where I grew up – students chose science (engineers), art (lawyers) or commercial (business) track in year 9  –  that writing was something I did in secret because I was in “science” class.  It was only in university where I found ways to connect with other writers offline and online that I was finally able to grow as a writer.

Many people don’t know it but there is a lot of writing in engineering. My “science” class friends chose that path in year 9 because they didn’t like english or literature

In my experience: You can’t escape writing. 

You may not be writing the next Agatha Christie novel but there are lab reports, essays, and papers in university.

In my first job as a manufacturing engineer, I wrote standard operating procedures, visual instructions, equipment start up and shut down list. It’s a different style of writing but it is still writing!

Same way my non-science friends:  You can’t escape math.

You won’t be doing statistics, calculus or differential equations but even the person hawking on the street uses math to haggle in order to sell wares for more than they bought them and honestly they can add, subtract and do percentages way better than I can. I lost those type of fast math skills a long time ago.

For a long time, the scientists don’t write and non-science students don’t do math made me feel like I had 2 different people in me – the engineer/problem solver/innovator and the musician/writer- so one side was always being hidden. It reflected in my life as well, I had 2 different social circles and neither knew the other existed. It was quite exhausting.

I recently took the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument HBDI test.

My result was a 1-1-1-1 – quadruple dominant profile – described as  having

  • Multiple abilities
  • Likes variety
  • Bored easily

Surprisingly, it occurs less than 3% of the time.

Although it seems great to be able to move between quadrants seamlessly ie change my communication and thinking styles easily, such a profile is said to struggle with internal conflict and take forever to make a decision.

My hope is to finally figure out a way to marry the two “conflicting”things I am passionate about and live happily ever after.

Explanation of HBDI test and results: The HBDI describes thinking and communication preferences. I highlight preferences because we have all 4 quadrants but tend to prefer a certain style

Results from a sample profile online are shown as:

Profile Numbers

Colours and Percentages

where on the left-  1 denotes a strong preference, 2 a general preference and 3 is an avoidance (this profile has a strong preference 1,1 for blue and green and general preference 2,2 for red and yellow)

on the right- dark lines show the everyday preferred mode and the dotted line shows preferred mode under stress. So in times of stress, this profile prefers to think in green/becomes more organized.




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