Monday, July 16, 2012

Writing is a Skill

by James Duckett

As I read the works of some of my favorite writers I must admit that I often get discouraged. They seem to write so fluidly and naturally that I start to question any talent I might have as a writer. After all, how could I ever learn to write as well as them? Why wasn't I born to write books at the same degree of greatness of my favorite authors?

I need to remind myself that writing is more a skill than a talent. Sure, I do think talent has a roll to play in it, as with any skill, but undeveloped talent will not bare the fruits of the illusive great American novel.
The greats of any profession make things look easy. Look at Michael Jordan. When I saw him play it just seemed like he was out there performing naturally. After all, how can you possibly practice half the shots he made? This seemed like a talent that just came to him naturally.

Or Tiger Woods. He was introduced to golf at a young age, even swinging on national television before he knew what the inside of a preschool looked like. His swing is so polished and smooth that it has to be a natural, right?
Wrong.

While Michael Jordan does have some natural talent (and height) he was not accepted on his high school varsity basketball team. Michael Jordan practiced daily until he became the greatest basketball player of all time. I still get the warm fuzzies watching him work his magic on the court.

As for Tiger Woods,  he spends hours every day working on his swing. In fact, he has rebuilt his swing from the ground up in order to get better. Twice!

Writing is the same way. If you wish to excel at writing it is a skill that must be developed. For the next few weeks I intend to do a series on increasing your writing skill. But I'd love to hear from our loyal readers: what have you done that has helped you to increase your writing skill?

Next week: Skill Tip #1 (the obvious one), Write Every Day

2 comments:

tabitha brazel said...

Interesting view. I used to write stories and get agrivated because I never felt I was good enough at it, but I wanted to be so bad. I kept practicing and found something I loved writing about. You seem like a really good writer! I wish you luck :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Thanks. I needed that. lol