Writing Is It A Skill Craft Or Gift

Writing Is It A Skill Craft Or Gift



Whenever you gather writers together they talk about writing. There are many different types of​ writers. Those who prefer to​ compose in​ long-hand or​ can only write on​ an​ old-fashioned manual typewriter. Those who write to​ music,​ demand complete silence,​ or​ create best surrounded by noise. You have the​ writers who must plan and outline before they can begin and those who find even talking about a​ project before it​ is​ drafted can stifle their creativity. But one of​ the​ most controversial divisions among writers is​ about whether writing is​ a​ skill,​ craft,​ or​ gift.

I admit that I like to​ stir the​ fire a​ bit because I can argue all three points and depending on​ how my own writing is​ going at​ the​ moment I may find that one viewpoint carries more weight for me personally.

I know as​ a​ teacher of​ writing that writing is​ a​ skill. I have taken people,​ young and old,​ who loathed writing and believed they would never be able to​ write -- and provided them with basic tips and tools to​ become good basic writers. I have taken good basic writers and given them the​ support and direction they've needed to​ become skilled writers. I've watched skilled writers with practice and determination become proficient writers. I have seen this in​ the​ classroom,​ at​ writing conferences,​ and in​ newsrooms. I have witnessed this transformation enough to​ know that writing is​ a​ skill that can be taught and a​ skill that can be learned.

I know as​ a​ writer,​ editor,​ and reader that writing is​ a​ craft. as​ the​ definition reads to​ craft is​ "to make or​ produce with care,​ skill,​ or​ ingenuity". a​ skilled writer can capture our interest and convey information,​ but a​ writer can also craft a​ story,​ poem,​ or​ essay that touches our emotions as​ well as​ our brains. For those who have gone beyond simply skilled to​ be craftsmen and craftswomen they can rely on​ their knowledge,​ experience,​ and instinct to​ create writing that does more than simply delivers -- it​ also sings.

I know as​ a​ writer and reader that writing is​ a​ gift. Some writers simply possess a​ special quality that allows them to​ step beyond and above the​ huddled masses. For some it​ is​ a​ special ability to​ shape words into images and ideas and for some it​ is​ a​ unique vision of​ this world (or another) that speaks to​ our souls in​ a​ way others cannot.

Are writers born or​ made? Many people argue that some gifted writers are born,​ but I am not convinced. Perhaps you could have some predisposition but I believe that writers are made. They are made in​ the​ rocking chair when Mother reads "Goodnight,​ Moon"; they are made under the​ cover with a​ flashlight when you simply must finish "The Hobbit" for the​ first time; they are made when you proudly pocket your first library card; they are made when you fill your first notebook; they are made when you submit your first poem,​ article or​ story for publication; they are made when you receive your first rejection; and they are made when you turn the​ computer on​ every day to​ write.

I believe some writers are supremely gifted but even so does that mean it​ was a​ gift given to​ them whole or​ was it​ a​ gift developed through years of​ reading,​ writing,​ talking,​ and thinking about words?

So,​ I believe,​ writing is​ all three -- a​ skill,​ a​ craft,​ and a​ gift. Some writers find their ability spans all three while others never progress past the​ level of​ skill.




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