Writer woman with pen looking frustratedToday, I’m over at the award-winning blog Writer Unboxed to discuss writing talent and whether or not it’s an innate ability or a skill to be developed.

Here’s a short excerpt of the post, “Do I Have Writing Talent?” You’re Asking the Wrong Question:

Hemingway. Austen. Dickens. Woolf. Carver. We know these names well, these masters of their craft. Were they born with an elusive writing gene the rest of us just don’t have?

We not-yet-famous writers sometimes ask ourselves, “Do I have talent?”—the implication being that talent is what makes one a real writer. We want some sort of assurance that—like “the greats”—we were born to write, or else we might just be fooling ourselves.

But, coming to the conclusion that we either do or do not “have it” can lead to some unhelpful assumptions. For example, I’ve always been good at writing, so writing a book will be easy (very probably not true). Or, My novel was rejected, so I guess I’m just not meant to be a writer (not necessarily true).

I’m not arguing that talent and aptitude don’t exist, but we sometimes take the concept of talent to the point of fatalism, and that limits us in a number of ways.

Are Our Abilities Innate and Unchangeable?

Psychology Today article I once read, called “The Trouble with Bright Girls,” rocked my world. The piece makes this claim [. . .]

Click here to read the rest of this article over at Writer Unboxed.


Still here. Still writing. Just taking a breather.

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Today’s post is written by founding editor Suzannah Windsor. First, it’s great to be back. I’ve really missed sitting down to write something personal to you—especially to those of you who have supported my writing in many different ways over the past five years. Maybe you thought Write It Sideways had come to an end […]

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Writing with Profit in Mind? Your Book has Already Failed

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Today’s post is written by Nicolas Gremion. If your primary motivation for writing is making money, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Outliers like James Patterson, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts often skew our perception of how lucrative publishing really is. In fact, very few authors actually make a living off their writing—the rest see […]

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Make NaNoWriMo the Gift that Keeps on Giving

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Today’s post is written by Amanda L. Barbara. For writers just cooling down from NaNoWriMo, it’s tempting to lose steam as the holidays approach. Your weekend calendar is filling up with parties and family get-togethers, and you probably feel like you deserve a victory lap after a month of such high productivity. But whether or not […]

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Three Pitfalls of Foreshadowing

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Today’s post is written by Amanda Bumgarner. Two years ago I read Stephen King’s newest (at the time) novel, 11/22/63. I was hesitant at first, not being a fan of horror and never having previously read one of King’s novels. But it came highly recommended from a friend I trusted, so I gave it a shot. Thus […]

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Use a Nonlinear Format to Grab Your Reader by the Eyeballs

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Today’s post is written by author Clayton Lindemuth. Reviewers and editors have commended the nonlinear format of Cold Quiet Country—a novel set in a single day, but with shards of backstory scattered across almost every page. Two dueling first-person narrators vie to control the story, each slipping into escalating past-tense flashbacks. A fifth viewpoint—of the […]

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