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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Is Writing Talent Or Hard Work?

Since the quill pen was invented people have contemplated the idea of whether writing was a natural born talent or just plain hard work. We writers wish and pray for the times when our muse visits us and the words flow onto the page. But are we less of a writer without the muse? Should we wait around for it to visit, writing only when we feel inspired? Well sure, if you don't want to be an author. Authors, those writers who've crossed into publication, know how and when to push.

I believe writing is not one or the other, but both a talent and a lot of hard work. Can everyone write well? Absolutely not. Can everyone learn how to? I believe they can. Don't get me wrong, I also believe a certain amount of talent must exist. But if we wait around for the times when our muse whispers in our ear and moves that pencil across the page or those fingers along the keyboard, we may never finish our works in progress and we may never learn. I certainly wouldn't be working on my seventh novel if I waited around for that fickle sprite to drop in on me.

Still not convinced? Think of this way. Do you dance better when you've had a few glasses of wine, or do you just think you do? Be honest, you don't. It's the same with your muse. When you're tipsy on inspiration you don't necessarily write your best work, it just feels like you do. Sweat and determination is what gets that novel written, not your muse. I love my muse and look forward to when it visits, but I'm not going to wait around and neither should you. Editing will smooth the edges and fill out the anorexic parts. Don't be afraid of that rough first draft, embrace it, write it! Your muse will visit sometime during the process.

Check out this article from Writer's Digest on Inspiration or Perspiration: http://writersdigest.com/article/inspiration-vs-perspiration/

15 comments:

  1. Is writing talent or hard work? It Both!

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  2. I have to agree Elle. Just like anything, sports, music, art, you can learn how to do it but to really shine you have to have the talent. Guess that's what the 'it' factor is ;)

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  3. Thanks Lynsey! Glad you liked it.

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  4. Yes, it is both! I personally believe that anyone can achieve anything with hard work. Talent just makes the journey easier. Where hard work gets you there. Nobody has flown to the moon on talent alone. Even the most talented pianist must work hard. I know how talented you are...but I also know how hard you work. You are the perfect example for all of us!

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  5. Really great blog, Heather! I listed it on mine http://bit.ly/7vtfZn. I'll be stopping back often to read your informative posts.

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  6. I truly agree... I'm working on a novel right now, but kind of slack :(

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  7. Great question. It's both. And sometimes it's pulling teeth and sometimes it's joy and ecstasy and soaring. :)

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  8. Both! Absolutely, positively, undeniably both! Why yes, I am an adverbaholic. Why do you ask? :-)

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  9. Thanks Karlene :) Though perfect is not the word I would use!

    Thank you so much Saxon, I'm flattered and glad you'll be making this a regular stop!

    I go through those times in my novel too Fida. Hang in there, it gets easier!

    Shannon, I'm so right there with you on that! Adverbs used to be my cryptonite! I'm learning though!

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  10. I agree, I've known talented people who haven't remained committed and even one person who started with a lot of rough edges, passion, and a love of the craft who became the most improved writer I've ever known. I think she's gonna publish soon, and I'd have never picked her for that three years ago.

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  11. I agree 100%! (we're on the same wavelength so why do I even bother to comment...)
    I love my muse, or the ease with which words flow after having a glass of wine, but most of the time I'm writing cold and I do just fine. That's what makes me hope someday to make it into the ranks of 'authors'.

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  12. Great point Portia. I think a lot of making it to publishing depends on how much your heart is in it.

    I know huh Lorel?! It's like we're channeling half the time. LOL!

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  13. I needed to see this - having some trouble getting motivated. Thanks!

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  14. Anne, I'm so sorry to hear that. I know how you feel though. At times it can be really hard to keep writing, especially when you're on submission. The fear can sometimes multiply and work against you. Don't let it though! Stay positive and keep writing!

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