Can you Learn How to Write?

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” Ernest Hemingway

In April I won a subscription to Writer’s Digest so yesterday I received two issues the May/June issue which includes the 101 Best Websites for Writers and the July/August issue issue which features one of my favorite novelists, Anne Tyler. The July/August issue also features a link to an expanded Q & A for the winner of Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award. Congrats to Marcy Kennedy!

Here’s the interview with the website promising the story and other winners stories soon.

This question of learning how to write is one that never seems to get answered.I think you can learn how to write in a specific genre by reading and studying what others who have gone before you have written and I think great writer’s are born just like any other great artist. But I know from personal experience that like anything else you have to do the hard work, and practice, practice, practice for me this means daily. When I first started writing poetry approximately five years ago I naively went to a poetry workshop without even knowing what a line break was. Since that day I have written more than 100 poems, studied craft, read hundreds of poems, critiqued poetry, wrote essays on poets, wrote in almost every form and experimented with collaborative writing. I still feel like a beginner. And I am.

For all those writers out there who say they would write if they “only had the time.” My question is what would you give up for writing? You would make the time if it was your passion. You’d get up earlier or go to bed later, you’d give up TV or your weekly movie date. You would study, read, practice, practice, practice if this is your goal/dream to write or be a writer. Writer and artist Caroline Joy Adams writes in her forward to The Power to Write “writers are not born, they are self made. Driven by the need to transform personal experience and perception into meaningful and moving stories, they master the alchemy of expression through the power of words.”
Mastering expression takes a commitment to the craft of writing. What steps have you taken this year to master craft? What steps could you take this month? Now get back to work!

The Writing Nag

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2 Replies to “Can you Learn How to Write?”

  1. I think everyone has to learn to write, even apparent geniuses like Ernest Hemingway. One of the best examples I've seen of this is Lisa Samson. Read her earlier novels and then her recent ones. She's matured into a powerful, brilliant writer. It's great inspiration to know that with hard work and some practice, I can write great stuff too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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