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?