GOOD writing is a God given talent. It is also a skill. God is generous in delving out his talents and sometimes we don’t get the one we THINK we would prefer. For instance, I would love to have been a great musician. I love music and I was able to master the “technical” aspects of music – but I never had the natural talent that others had and that I envied. And I knew that I could work as hard as I wanted and I would never have what they had.
However, God did give me a vivid imagination and the ability of “story telling” which I’ve been able to transfer to the written word. Yet, like playing music or golf or baseball or swimming or tennis the talent of writing is also a skill and any skill must be maintained and improved by constant practice, practice, and more PRACTICE.
That doesn’t mean that you have to write an award winning novel every day, but it does mean that you MUST write SOMETHING every day. For instance, writing this blog or email or letters (which has become almost a lost art) is a form of practice. The use of words, writing “character sketches,” experimenting with different genres, just writing the changing description of the scene outside your window, any of these actions are writing practice and you should make a point to put in some time of every day writing something – or anything. Who knows? Just the act of writing may spark an idea that could develop over time into a short story or a full-fledged novel.
We have all heard of so-called “Writer’s Block.” I have never ascribed to that theory. I think it is a cop out; an excuse just not to do the hard work of writing. You will find many of those “blocked” writers spending their day blabbing away on Facebook or forums or writer’s web sites. You see, it is much easier to TALK about writer’s block than it is to stare at that blank computer screen and then force yourself to write something.
Many potential authors will spend their lives talking about writing instead of writing. That is their choice. But if they honestly identify themselves to others, they must then admit, “I’m a talker, not really a writer.” And they have pissed away the talent God gave them.