So I went ahead and googled ‘skilled writer’.
Because to be honest it’s not a term that quickly comes to mind when I think of writing. Not that I found something outrageously new about it. Except for the mention of muscle memory and the ability to entertain an audience. Something along those lines. I was just skimming through though. And don’t get me wrong. I know writing is a skill. It’s just that when I read a great story, the only thing in my head, is ‘What great talent’.
It never crosses my mind that they probably doubted their own journey and considered a thousand other directions their lives could have gone. Or that they could have endured countless years of school, learning and honing their craft. Just…here is the evidence of your labour and in the present it’s wonderful.
Talent – natural aptitude or skill (there’s the word).
But for something that I believe happens naturally (following last week’s discussion), I find so many writers trying to do away with that and claiming more. Like saying it comes naturally undervalues it. Yet there must be some esteem to thinking the art of writing looked down on you and found you worthy. ‘Let they who are found worthy wieldaq the mighty pen – or mighty words ;)’ – Thor, anyone? Though I probably butchered that paraphrase.
I was pretty much the same, doubting everything. It’s just of recent that I got to the place where I can sit comfortably under the banner ‘good writer’. Wear it and speak it into existence, right :D. Positive outlook and confessions!
Before that, someone would comment about how good it is and how it just seems to flow and I would squirm. Really squirm. I would bide my time till I take them aside and explain that it’s not like that. There’s a whole lot more drama to the process. I agonise over the words I have to use, toss plenty of drafts aside before I settle on a story I want and even when it’s done I see a thousand things I would change about it and hold my breath when I have to share with some else. So sure that they’ll see the truth and call me out for the fraud I am. We all deal with imposter syndrome at some point it seems.
But why would something seemingly natural come burdened with so many flaws?
And besides everybody writes, right? I remember hearing that. If you can pick up a pen or type away or even get yourself a scribe, you can do this. It’s nothing special –
or I was somehow convinced (brainwashed more like).
Because I’m sure there must be some authors you’ve read and can’t help but think that they are just special. Maybe it’s just me. The kind of writing that gives you chills, makes you think, ignites emotions and transports you to another world and you just think ‘how do they get words on paper to do that!’
The end of this internal debate is that practice makes perfect. It does not matter how you come to writing. All that matters is that it bestowed the kiss of life upon the words that flow from your hand.