Write It Sideways

Stop Asking Yourself If You Have Writing Talent

Today, 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.