Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Writing Talent VS. Writing Skill

I could always write.  From term papers and resumes to stories about flaming dragons, writing was a talent that I obviously possessed.  I don't say this to sound egotistical, but it's just a fact.  To sit down and compose a narrative that flowed and held most readers attention was as simple as walking for me.  I don't know how many times someone has said to me, "Wow you can write."

I've always known I could write.  Just as certain as I was that I could talk or ride a bicycle.  Writing was and likely still is a talent I've taken for granted.  During my years on this Earth one could say I squandered my gifts, never taking them to their full potential.

Intro, Ebooks.  While I've dabbled at writing my entire life, writing novels that is.  Up until last year I'd never finished one.  I always assumed it was because I was just too lazy, but that's an assumption I've come to learn as false.  All those years I stopped and started was because I lacked the skill.

I know that sounds strange.  To be a talented writer without the skill to finish a book, but there are very real differences between the two.  Talent you are born with.  It's that inalienable gift that you either have or you don't.  Skill on the other hand is developed over time.  You earn skill, through countless hours of practice and repetition.

Talent and luck may get you to where you want to be, but with talent and skill, you write your own ticket.  (No pun intended.)  As I contemplate my own self publishing journey I can't help but think of all the other talented writers out there.  Some have taken to perfecting their craft, writing for hours on end in an effort to become professionals.  Others have decided that talent alone is enough.

There is no real point to this post, just an observation or an epiphany that I thought I'd share.  Maybe it'll make someone think, maybe it won't.  But if there comes a time that you wonder why your writing career isn't where you'd like it to be.  Perhaps you should think about developing your skill a bit more and relying less on your talent.