Monday, December 23, 2013

Writing 101: You Don't Have to Be Gifted

There are those who say that writing is a talent. I say that it's a job. And to be an author, you don't have to be gifted or talented or even lucky. But you do have to be a hard worker, even if you've got all the other stuff already.


Talent Might Be a Myth

I'm not sure I believe in talent (perhaps because I haven't got any). Some of the most divine natural actors may never step off the community theater stage, and amazing singers are wilting away behind cash registers all over the country. It's fine to have talent, to be gifted, but at the end of the day it's a gift that gives you very little. 

The highly gifted fail every single day at all sorts of things. The talented fall down and make missteps and struggle, and some of them flounder and never succeed at their dreams. But those who do achieve success usually have the same thing in common: they work hard.


So if you don't feel that you have writing talent, don't worry. It probably won't make as much difference as your work ethic will. I'm a firm believer that there are no original ideas left in novels anyway, so being gifted isn't going to avail you in that department.

Being a gifted writer may help you write a more perfect novel in the first draft, but you still have to edit it and rewrite it just the same as a not-so-gifted writer. It's all hard work. If you want to give yourself a gift as an author, work harder. Forget about talent, because you don't need it to write a book. Talent doesn't write books, but dedicated hard work will.

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