My 5-year-old granddaughter wants to be a princess in the worst way. She adores pink, fluffy dresses and sparkly shoes, and I'm sure owns a tiara for every day of the week. (My personal belief is that the princess-longing, which seems stronger today than ever before, though it's not new, mirrors the heart's desire to be daughters of God.)
Did I ever want to be a princess? Sure. But I was always taller and bigger than my friends, my mom wouldn't buy me a pink, fluffy dress, and she always kept my hair cut short for her own convenience, so I had a hard time feeling like one. But what I wanted to be even more than a princess? A genius.
With this, I had somewhat better luck. :) Especially in the early grades, I was always the top of the class and scored, way, way beyond grade level on standardized tests. When my father, an educator, revealed my IQ to his boss (by way of discussing the success of a teaching technique) the man about dropped his teeth, and when going for an advanced degree my dad even wrote a seminar paper on gifted children, centered on, ahem, me (by name). My dad has passed on, and I have his papers in my possession now. And yes, it's really interesting for me to read what he had to say about me. :)
So when I was reading a bit about writing and genius lately, and simultaneously recalling what the main character in John Green's An Abundance of Katherines said about himself: that he wasn't a genius, but a prodigy (a prodigy being one who shows great brilliance early, but whom others eventually catch up with and even surpass, which is also a much better label for me), I became more curious about the nature of genius, and specifically, what a "writing genius" is.
I learned that in ancient Rome, a genius was a guiding spirit. Because people who achieved great things were then thought to have a very powerful angel (to me, it's an angel) assisting them, the word genius eventually also came to mean talent, intelligence, or extraordinary inspiration. Whether the guidance, and what was produced, seemed extraordinary or not, each person had that guiding spirit, guiding him or her straight into the center of their divine calling.
So it isn't so much whether we are a genius, but that we have a genius. So I'm not a genius, but I have one. We all do; whatever our calling is, we have divine help ready to lead and guide us to it and in it, into the originality that is ours to produce.
How will you tap into your genius today? :)