Talent is crucial to good writing…sorry PERFECT writing.

I’ve met a lot of people who have express their desires to write. Their eyes light up when I tell them I write in my spare time, have a book out and regularly get my articles published on online newspapers and political opinionated websites in Malaysia. Glossy eye and spunky about the idea that people would read their writings they pursue the road I took. But not all roads are meant to be travelled by a bandwagon of wannabe writers.

My path to writing is unique to me. For everyday I spend writing, I had several years of practice. I did not get here by mere chance. I had to sweat it out and develop my own style and voice. I took to blogging in 2003 to better my writing skills. I needed to learn how to connect with an audience, write in words that inspire and move people and what better way than through blogging. From there I joined a writing group and practiced my writing there. I’ve written a short play and it was produced during my college days, written some really bad songs that are only worthy for my shower, poetry has been a dabble of mine since school days and only in the last two years have I seriously written short stories and full length features.

It took time and that is something all writers (good writers) have to go through. It takes time to polish one’s skills. There’s no shortcuts to being a good writer but if you want to be a PERFECT writer than you need Talent.

Let me say this over and over again. You need Talent to begin with. Some have it, some may not and this means not everyone is cut out to be a writer. Yes, you may have good writing skills but are you a storyteller? Can you capture the attention of an audience?

I learnt the traits of capturing the attention of the audience in my college days when I was part of the theatre group. I took to the stage and was a natural at it. From there I move on to writing for stage and essentially that’s where I learnt my strong point when it comes to writing stories – dialogue. The scene plays in my head like a play and I’m the omnipresent observer jotting down the details that I see. That’s my Talent. This is why I can write.

I met this wannabe writer who wrote a management book and he wanted to branch out into fiction. I read his draft and I told him to stick to writing management books. And he had the knack to tell me he lack creativity. How can you write fiction without being creative?

Talent is inherent in all writers. They write because that is the only thing they can do. We write because the moment you put a pen/keyboard before us, we start fidgeting and all rile up. We want to express ourselves, we want to tell the world what we see in our minds eye. We are picky about words and sentences and prose and how someone would say something. We listen in on conversations at coffee shops and watch people go about life, taking notes of what’s going on. We are loners and thinkers and philosophers and emotional wrecks (after a good movie) and all the while we want to write it down.

Talent is crucial to PERFECT writing. You either have it or not. I hate to bust your bubble but clearly, if your friends tell you your writing is like S*#T then please take up another hobby. Fishing or kite flying or planting roses. Anything else except writing a novel and thinking you’ll make a million out of it. Honestly, I don;t write for the money. I write because all my life I knew I would write and I just want people to hear what I have to say.

Have a reality check and ask yourself whether you’ve got TALENT to write.

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One Response to Talent is crucial to good writing…sorry PERFECT writing.

  1. …if only the folks heard this that need to. How many people are trying to be a square peg in a round hole and could spare themselves so much heartache and time wasted if they’d realize they were good at something other than writing. It’s like sales, you can sell and have ability—or you can’t. Simple simple simple. You can’t very well get better at something you have no aptitude for. Fish out of water don’t make very good fish.

    Great insights.

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