Can You Learn to Write?

by Lee Strauss

Is writing a gift you are born with? Do some people just have a natural way with words and phrases, the ability to spin a yarn, beyond the average person? Or, is writing something that can be learned, like any skill or passion?

My answer is yes.

To both.

Some people are naturally gifted with the extraordinary ability to play with words in a way that make people sit up and notice. This can’t be denied, and hopefully all those gifted people understand the blessing they possess.

Others have a keen interest in the craft that develops into a passion. Their initial efforts are, to be kind, below par, but if they have the tenacity to study and practice, they can become better—even good.

While cleaning out my office one day I came across a file that had an old, old manuscript in it. I started reading: It was scary and fascinating.

Here’s the critique: I flipped flopped between past and present tense like crazy. I didn’t know when to capitalize the word, “mom” or when not to capitalize the “h” or “s” in he/she said. I barely knew how to use a comma or an apostrophe. I couldn’t spell. I rushed the plot and the pacing and I was way too melodramatic.

But it wasn’t boring. I had believable characters and good story premise. There was a nugget of talent there, but it was buried very, very deep.

So what happened to me? I studied the craft. Hard. And I practiced. I wrote lots of stories and screenplays that will never see the light of day.

Was that wasted effort? No. That was school. My very own, self-structured, years long class on creative writing.

I know I’m a better writer today than I was all those years ago when I decided I wanted to write. I learned how.

Have you ever gone back and re-read early manuscripts—like the first ones you ever dared to write? Are you a learner or a natural?

Eternal Life is To Die For

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA SciFi / Romance 

Rating – PG13

What doesn’t kill you…

Coming in April 2013

Genre – YA SciFi / Romance 

Rating – PG13

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