Writing and Me

Go wash your mouth out!

‘Writing is just a learned skill and requires 0% talent.’

Excuse you????? Yes, I really did hear this through social media yesterday, and yes, a rage roared in my chest, but I managed to keep myself in check.

Needless to say, I disagree. Just like some people can sing or paint or dance, some people can write. Storytelling is an art form in itself. Of course, practise makes perfect, but who is going to spend energy practising something their soul isn’t passionate about? Talent is half natural ability and half passion: skill is the love child of both.


8 thoughts on “Go wash your mouth out!”

  1. Wow. Well done for keeping yourself in check! That’s like saying that acting or singing doesn’t require talent and can just be learned by anyone. If you’d ever heard me sing you’d know this isn’t true. Storytelling is definitely an art form in itself, one which requires a lot of life blood and nerves and a thick skin. And as you said – who wants to spend their life doing something they’re not passionate about?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While writing can be learned, a higher level of writing requires talent and skill. So I understand why you’d be upset by this quote. I mean, let’s change that quote to this:

    “Basketball is just a learned skill and requires 0% talent.”

    Now, if anyone watches basketball (or any sport, for that matter), you know that there are players with different skill levels, but there are also players with different talent levels, and it actually does require both skill and talent to become one of the great players. For example, Michael Jordan was born with loads of talent to play b-ball. Had he not had the passion to work at it, though, had he not developed his skillset and learned the game — not only from a physical standpoint, but a mental standpoint as well — he wouldn’t have been the greatest b-ball player of all time (yeah, I’m making that statement).

    Talent is something you’re born with; but it’s not in your genes, it’s in your soul, like a musician who feels music. Some people have a little more, some people have a little less. But it’s there.

    Skill is something that can be developed, but there’s only so far you can go with it. An athlete who runs a 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds and can’t run any faster no matter how hard he works has a skillset with a limit of a 40-yard dash in 4.7 seconds. So different athletes are limited in how much their skills can be developed.

    Now, I’m not saying that writers are athletes. Certainly not. But there are writers who are born with different talent levels and the ability to acquire a certain plateau in their skills. To say that ‘anyone can write’ as an encouragement to someone is fine, but to say that ‘anyone can write’ as a devaluation of writing is just plain ignorance of writing as talent and skill applies to it. That’s like saying that anyone can be Michael Jordan. Seeing as how there are a lot of people passionately working their butts off to get to his level of play, and not getting there, it’s clear that b-ball, like writing, takes more than simply learning a skill.

    By the way, if anyone ever says to you, “Architecture is just a learned skill and requires 0% talent,” do not ever enter a building they have designed. You have been warned. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That person is ignorant and should be sent to the principal’s office. I met a couple of people who think that art is a waste of time and space. They think that artists literally spit out a painting in the two seconds it takes for them to look at one. There is no concept of the time and energy put into a work. I largely avoid these types of people. Their brains are scrambled, just like their logic. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! I took it as quite a misinformed comment from someone who sounds, in my opinion, extremely bitter.

      I try to avoid these people too. Along with the people who say, ‘so, you wrote a novel. How hard can it be?’ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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