You Want To Write, But Do You Have Writing Talent?

Angela Booth

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New writers always worry about talent, but “talent" is no indication of ability to write. If you have the desire to write, that's a fair indication that you have all the ability you need.

=> The desire to do something is the indication that you CAN do it

Everything we do starts with a desire to do it, from learning to walk, to writing. From then on, it's just a matter of having fun, and practicing.

When someone says “I want to write, but, " the most important part of the sentence is “I want to write. "

=> Talent is the natural ability to do something well, but so what?

I've always said that if you can write a letter, you can write copy (write for business). This is a hundred per cent accurate. Anyone with the natural-born ability to write a letter can write copy. However, I can't predict whether the talented one will sit down and do it, day after day after day.


It's doing it that counts.

In one of my favourite books, “Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind", Suzuki-roshi says: “All that we should do is just do something as it comes. *Do* something!"

If you want to write, just write. Sit down with a pen and paper, or in front of your computer, and put words on paper. Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, and every writer who has ever lived or ever will live does just that, and only that.

Sit down and write. This is easier said than done. You need to know how to stop getting in your own way.

=> Use your critical sense AFTER you have words on the page

Imagine that you're an artist. You're drawing a still-life, of a bowl of fruit. You take your paints, mix several colours to get the precise red of an apple, and dab a brushstroke onto the canvas.

You tilt your head onto the side. No, that's not right. You clean your brush and start again. More mixing, another brushstroke. You shake your head. Still not right. You clean your brush -.

This process gets you nowhere. It's the same when you write. When you're writing, lay words onto the page just as an artist paints.

You can't know what the result will be until you've finished putting words onto the page. This means that you need to completely ignore your critical sense while you're writing. Once you've finished a writing task, you use your inner critic.

=> Pre-write, and find writing models

Writing is about models, and about structure. If you know what a particular piece of writing should look like, you can write it.

The best way to start and continue your writing career is not to begrudge words. Let your words flow freely. Every professional writer that I know writes constantly, and most of that writing never makes it into print. It's pre-writing, writing to find out what you want to write.

When you've decided on something you want to write, whether it's a newspaper article, a novel, or a company overview, the next step is to find a model for it so you know how that piece of writing is put together.

Study the model and make an outline of it, then write.

=> Pay attention: make your writing fun

The more fun you have writing, the more you will write. Dean Koontz once said that if you want to write commercially, writing has to be more fun for you than anything else you could be doing.

Professional writers do a lot of writing which is not intrinsically fun. I write copy for businesses, and writing about EDI (Electronic Data Exchange), water pumps for drainage systems and occupational health is fun for me because I make it fun. I'm determined to enjoy it, and so I do.

It's easy for me to convince myself that a piece of writing like a software tutorial is fun, because at the very basic level of playing with words, it is extremely enjoyable. Enjoyment is a function of paying attention.

Try it yourself. The next time you're doing a task you dislike, like cleaning the bathroom for example, start to pay attention to it. Become deeply engrossed in spraying cleaner onto the bathroom mirror and wiping it off, and in scrubbing the shower stall. The more attention you pay, the more you will enjoy it.

=> Welcome critiques

When you write, you start out by managing your inner critic. Next you need to learn how to manage external critics, people who critique your work.

If you write professionally, you need to learn how to deal with editors, who are your primary external critics. Editors are VITAL to writers, and a good editor can make you a much better writer. This is because an editor tells you what's not on the page.

The only way to deal with an editor is to revise your work according to his instructions. You may not like it, but do it anyway. Then go on to the next piece of writing.

Writing skill develops over time. The only way to find out whether you have talent is to write. If you write persistently for a few years, you will discover that you have talent. Your talent grew when you weren't looking. Write.

Stuck in your writing career? Get a coach! Angela Booth coaches writers in copywriting (writing for business), nonfiction, and fiction. A veteran writer, published by major publishers worldwide, Angela is also an experienced writing teacher, who knows how to inspire and motivate. You CAN make a success of your writing career. Free daily info for writers at her blog: Start your writing coaching today by contacting Angela at her site Angela offers personal one-on-one e-courses and mentoring for all forms of writing. Ask for a low-cost initial phone or email consultation.


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