Return Home

Yes, Everyone Can

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 | Posted by S.M. Carrière

thewallpaperco3

This is one of my favorite pieces of art. I found it ages ago at thewallpaper.co.

Good morning, Readers!

I had an argument with a friend the other day, and it’s kind of stuck in my throat a bit. Permit me to indulge myself and get all my thoughts around the issue out. It always helps to write it out. You’re all basically my therapists.

Jokes aside, the argument centered around the idea that not everyone can (as in should) be a writer. He says not, I say absolutely they can, and should if they so desire.

Now, this isn’t an argument about whether people have the time or the will to become writers. That is a separate issue. If the assumption is that they want to, then they absolutely can, and absolutely should.

His argument was something around talent, that just because someone can string a few sentences together, it doesn’t make them writers. Their story ideas may be garbage. They may not be able to spell all that well. They can’t adequately turn what’s in their head into something understandable on the page.

In a way, I suppose, he’s right.

wallpapersafari2

Found this on wallpapersafari.com. I adore ruins and pictures of ruins. I find them fascinating, and, weirdly enough, soothing.

It is true that not everyone who writes manages to write well. However, I don’t believe that disqualifies someone from becoming a writer. What we see as talent is actually the product of hard work. All it is, is someone who realised that doing a thing brought them joy, and so they continued to work at doing that thing. In the doing of it, they were, in fact, practicing and in that practice they improved. Now those folks make it look effortless, and we call it talent.

Quick note, this isn’t to say that actual talent doesn’t exist. It does. All that means, though, is that some people will have to work harder than someone else to reach the same level, not that reaching that level is entirely impossible for those who are less talented. This work is part of the reason why some writers get offended when people mentioned off-hand about how they want to be writers, too, if only they could find the time. Writers hustle to get their writing done. They’ve sacrificed. They’ve worked. Hard.

Writing is a skill and a craft as much as it is a talent. The knack for it can be acquired with enough effort and practice. Granted it does take work and practice, and not everyone will have the patience to do that work. That doesn’t mean that those who want to shouldn’t.

1001 free dounloads com 1

This awesome piece was nabbed from 1001freedownloads.com.

Moreover, I don’t think anyone can rightfully claim to definitively understand good writing. I thought I did. I think I’m a pretty decent writer, yet I am struggling to find representation (let’s not talk about all the rejections I’ve received, or I’ll start crying). Similarly I’ve read published books which were insanely popular that I’ve found tepid at best – with boring stories, cardboard characters, and stilted dialogue. Like, I thought they were bad. Quite bad. Yet they are stupidly popular. They acquired an agent, got a book deal with a publisher, had movie/television adaptations, have pretty intense fan bases. Clearly I know nothing (Jon Snow. Heh. Has that meme died yet?).

The writer someone else is disparaging might just be the favorite of many others.

I have another friend. He had a teacher who was of the same mind as the friend against whom I argued the other day. She told my other friend that he should give up his dream of becoming a writer. He couldn’t do it. Much to the delight of readers, he decided to try anyway. He put in the work. Now he is a published author, and has gotten notes from readers about how much they enjoyed his work. He is living proof that anyone can be a writer, and if they want to enough they should pursue it with all they’ve got.

Saying mean-spirited things like someone can’t or shouldn’t based on their first attempts is just gate-keeping by another name. I’m not here for it. This nonsense about not everyone having the ability to become writers (outside of other factors which are absolutely legitimate), or even if they can they shouldn’t, is exactly that – nonsense.

NewEvolutionDesigns 1

This is something I refer to when writing my current WIP, because it kinda has the feel I’m going for.

My advice, if you’d be willing to listen to it, is simply this – if writing lights up your life, if you dream of being a published author one day, then go for it. Ignore the folks who claim that you haven’t the talent, or your stories are dull, or whatever other kind of gate-keeping disguises they use. Write.

It’s not easy. There’s a lot of waiting, and failure, and disappointment on the journey. It takes a lot of work, and even more tenacity to make it. Many people give up.

You might not ever get published. Write anyway. It’s worth it.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

This has been my writing pep-talk.


When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cats. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and cuddling furry murderers. Her most recent titles include ‘Daughters of Britain’ and ‘Skylark.’ www.smcarriere.com

3 Comments »

  1. Writing is both torment and therapy. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

    Comment by MikeT - December 3, 2019 9:57 am

  2. Boy is it ever!

    Comment by S.M. Carrière - December 3, 2019 9:59 am

  3. The only people who shouldn’t write are people who don’t enjoy writing.

    I never understand why everyone seems to be talking about writing as a business. Writing is an art, and art is made for the sake of art.

    Now if people decide they want to bet everything on making a living as a writer, there are plenty of reasons why they probably shouldn’t. But that has nothing to do with the writing of stories.

    Comment by Martin Christopher - December 3, 2019 12:12 pm


Comments RSS  |  TrackBack URI

 

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Black Gate Home
This site © 2019 by New Epoch Press. All rights reserved.