We’ve heard it said before and chances are, you have probably heard it argued before as well. Some people believe writing is a gift, where others believe it is a skill. This is a highly debatable topic because if writing is indeed a gift, then that means that you are either born with it, or you’re not. What hope does that leave for people who want to be writers but maybe were not born with the natural gift to write?
But then if we say writing is a skill that anyone can acquire, are we shunning those who believe they may have been born gifted with abilities that make them better capable of writing? If we look at history and some of the greatest and most notable writers, there were no books or workshops and classes on how to write back then. This evidence seems to suggest that writing is indeed, an art that some are born gifted in.
However, there is just as much evidence to show that your writing can improve when you study, learn and practice. So does this mean that writing is a skill that can be taught and developed over time? The experts will disagree and if you ask writers themselves, you’ll find that they will often disagree as well.
I have a theory that writing can be both a skill and a gift. This is something that I talk about in my books often. I believe that some people are born with the gift of writing and that these writers are more easily capable of completing writing tasks and improving their writing. Many will say the quality of the writing produced is also better than those who have not been taught the same skills.
You can note the difference in yourself if you read something you wrote in school and something you wrote recently. Even just years of practice in between two pieces of writing can show a skill improvement. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make your own decision about whether writing is a skill or a gift.
As for me, I believe it can be both. Sometimes one writer will have the gift and another will have skill whereas some writers have both gifted talent and skill. Anyone born with natural abilities as a writer seeking to improve should also be willing to learn new skills to help them improve upon their gift.
Someone who not born with a natural gift for writing but has the desire to be a writer can learn the skills needed for success. You may be doing so with a slightly lower advantage than those who were born with the gift, but it’s still possible, especially if you really want it.Being born with a gift for writing also doesn’t promise you will be a better writer than someone else. While it often makes it easier for you to learn new skills, it can sometimes be a hindrance as well. Some gifted writers are less open to criticism and learning new techniques needed to improve their writing. Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right balance to help you succeed.