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Are Writers Made or Born?

Are writers made or born? This is a question I ask myself quite a lot. I've always loved writing, even as a child. However, I've also spent years experimenting, studying and honing my writing skills. Does this mean that my writing skills are natural or self-made?

Millions of people take classes to learn how to write. They're taught to carefully place one word in front of another, the correct use of tenses, and the order of the elusive subject-verb agreement. Accurate form makes an adequate writer, but does it make a great one? Personally, I think not. 

There a certain je ne sais quoi – the X-factor of writing, if you like – about certain writers. It’s a quality which, in my opinion can be nurtured but not taught. Good form is certainly admirable, but without the inherent skill to make your reader feel what you are, you could very well be writing a dictionary. I’ve showed this letter below in one of my older blogs. It was written for my birthday, by my daughter when she was eight. I’ve retained all spelling mistakes. 

“To Mum, I hope you have a great birthday. I love you. Thank you for all the stuff youve done for me.  Hmmm where shall I start. You were pregnat with me. You put me to sleep. You helped me walk. You raisd me up to be a good girl and thank you for being my mum and telling me the right things to do. Thank you for waisting time on me telling me bedtime stories.”

There is certainly no form here, and as you can tell - the spelling is a bit off in places, but this is succinct and touching. It’s the kind of writing I want to do when I grow up. How about you?

If you're looking for writing form, here's a bunch of writing tips I've posted on this blog (second group), and a some others I've written for a big writing blog (first group).

What is your take on this? Are writers made or born? Or maybe both?


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5 comments:

Sarah Park January 10, 2013 at 3:50 AM  

For me, writers are born, though they can only be expert if they will enhance it. Writers are born because they simply have the talent to think differently in terms of ideas, though they have to enhance on how to present their ideas in a more understandable way.

Anne Lyken-Garner January 10, 2013 at 8:56 AM  

I agree, Sarah. We all have talents, but it's the people who work to enhance their gift who stand out in this world.

Writing is no different.

Icy BC January 16, 2013 at 1:11 PM  

To me, writers are both: born, and made. There are some that neither, but sheer luck and high position in life could be just so..

myletterstoemily January 25, 2013 at 2:58 AM  

she grabbed me with, "hmm . . . " that's the
sort of thing that sets innate writers apart
from 'taught' writers.

Anne Lyken-Garner January 25, 2013 at 2:40 PM  

Yes, that particular daughter writes very creatively. She writes the way she speaks and some of it can be very funny to read.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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