Thursday, April 14, 2011

L is for Learn

That is right: Learn. There is always something to learn when writing stories and in life in general.

I had someone in a slightly frustrating writing group (long story) ask me an interesting question after I mentioned in the forum how my mom had a novel idea but she didn't think she knew enough about writing to actually write it. The person asked where I got my talent from then? Not to say for sure I am talented, just what the person asked.

Talent may exist but it will only get you so far. People who compliment me by saying things like I have a talent writing or just that I write well are nice but I know I have plenty to learn still. Okay, more than plenty.

I could list the many things you could learn when writing or talk about how you can learn but I'll keep it short.

1. Write
2. Try new things
3. Read
4. Write
5. Research

Those are a few that help. I have been writing technically for 5 years, seriously, though I didn't start with novel length. I tried flash fiction and short stories as a way to learn how to write scenes. I took part in little contests that focused on prompts, dialogue or other elements of writing. Then I worked on writing novels. And I'm still working. I am almost done with my first rewrite, which means soon I will do my first edit. It's all a learning experience and I can't wait.

Do you think talent plays a part in writing?
What is one thing you've learned recently?
Do you plan to keep learning?


Cheree said...

Fantastic post. Anyone can write, but to write well it takes work. I think there has to be some talent in writing (well, I like to think so), but mostly it is the desire to write and keep learning to improve the craft.

I plan to keep learning as much as I can. There is never too much to learn.

Laura M. Campbell said...

Great post! You can't teach talent. You either have it or you don't. Talent just gets your started. Plenty of people out there are very talented, it's what you do with it. I believe to reach any level of success you must have determination.

Advice: Stephen King put it in pretty straightforward, and possibly painful words in his book On Writing, if your a bad writer, you will only reach good. If you are a good writer, you will only reach excellent. Exceptional writers are born. Authors that transcend the years, culture changes and age.

I may never reach exceptional, but I know with my talent I can reach excellent. Good luck with the challenge!

Sarah McCabe said...

My favorite book quote about learning:

"Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It's shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson." ~Dune by Frank Herbert

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post! I think that talent only goes so far. There are amazingly talented writers out there who aren't published, and might never be if they don't sit down and crank out a full draft . . . there is a talent/skill to just sitting down and writing.
And I don't know that I'm talented, or even particularly hard working when it comes to writing, but I write every day, and I try to keep learning.

Angeline said...

I always see two different kinds of talent with writing. First, the ability to spin a good story, imagination. This is something that can't be learned. Second, technical writing skill, which can be learned. But you need both to be a great writer.

Dawn Embers said...

Cheree - Thanks. I do think anyone could write if they tried but to write well is a little different. There is always room to learn.

Laura M. Campbell - Very true, have to do something with talent for it to be of use. That is an interesting quote from King, I still need to read that book.

Sarah McCabe - Interesting. Thanks for sharing that.

Tyrean Martinson - Thanks. True, talents doesn't always equate success. Determination to get things done can help.

Angeline - That makes sense. Both do make for better stories and easier to get out to readers.

Ju Dimello said...

Yes, I feel talent does play a part in writing..since even applying what we "learnt" is a talent...

Great post!

Following you from A-Z challenge!

nutschell said...

new follower here! talent plays a part in writing, but more than that, I think one needs passion. It's possible to be skilled at something you don't exactly love doing, but to go beyond skill, to become a virtuoso-or a legend, you need love and passion for what you do.

L'Aussie said...

Sure talent, but what did Einstein say - 10$ inspiration and 90% perspiration or some such. But I agree - read, read, read, then write, write, write.

Good one Dawn. So you guessed Lucerne hey! First time lucky?

So what about M???


L'Aussies Travel A-Z Travel Posts

Dawn Embers said...

Ju Dimello - Interesting. Learning itself as a talent. :-)

nutschell - Why hello and thanks for following my little blog. Passion is very useful.

L'Aussie - hehehe, thanks. I think it's my second time getting the right guess. lol. We'll see how M goes.

Anonymous said...

Learning never stops for writers...great post.