There’s Writers And Then There’s Writers


Some writing I connect with, it’s effortless to read, smooth and flowing. It’s almost as if I’m there with the author reading it to me … and not just fiction or poetry, I’ve experienced the same in serious writing too …

Other writing is like pulling my own fingernails out, utter boredom and turns me from a concentrated spectator to someone with the attention span of a goldfish …

Are some writers special snowflakes – lady luck shines on them ? Or is there room to change from a mediocre or wannabe writer to an awesome writer through effort and practice ?

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IS there a je ne sai quoi, a special something that separates the women from the girls and the men from the boys when it comes to writing ?

Talent ? Skill ? Practice ? Passion ? Enthusiasm ? Creativity ? Empathy ? Intelligence ? Rich parents ? Chocolate ?

Some of you aren’t writers, some are wannabe writers and some of you are writers – what do you think it is that makes a writer a special snowflake, versus the rest of us ?

Cheers

Don Charisma

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127 thoughts on “There’s Writers And Then There’s Writers

  1. I think it’s a mixture of practice, criticism and (not necessarily) skill. With criticism I mean all those comments which help you improve your writing, not those which only wear you down without being of any help, like in e.g. “You can’t write because I don’t like your writing style.” (Of course good criticism can also hurt, especially when you get the first comments for a story, post, whatever you’re very fond of, but it always helps you improve.)

  2. It depends on what or who you are writing for. If you write for mags, newspapers or had a book published (which means you are a published author) then you are indeed a writer. Every writing market has its own game (and rules) and if you learn how to navigate it then you can get published very quickly.

    But of course, you have to know how to write also. That means perfecting grammar, voice, and all those other boring writing skills that editors seem to like and demand so much.

    So, yes, anyone can learn how to be a good writer. But it helps if you are naturally gifted.

    Give it a shot – what have you got to lose?

  3. When I was in school (many years ago 🙂 I had a woodwork teacher who helped us all to construct little projects out of wood. Once we had completed our projects, we would use sandpaper to sand the rough edges down and make the wood look slick and smooth and bring out the natural grain in it, thereby finishing the product off beautifully. One day he said something that I still remember to this day. He said: “Sandpaper makes a good job look even better. It doesn’t make a bad job look good”.

    So in other words, yes, you can work hard at something to improve it, but if you don’t have any basic talent to begin with (as in writing or guitar playing or anything else), you may be wasting your time.

  4. I don’t think you can say you are a writer until somebody else says you are a writer.

    My latest short story is nearly at its climax

    Comments invited for “The Clairvoyant”

    Peace to all

    Je suis Charlie

  5. I agree with ‘4blogssake’, anyone can write, it’s all about thought process and everyone does that, however not everyone writes their thoughts down, or share their passion. But that’s exactly what we are doing when we blog something…. Well, that’s my angle anyway, I live in Puglia, Italy and love it, so now I’m sharing these Pleasures with anyone who’s interested!

    1. hahah. you live in puglia??? i was just down there — but not the pretty part. yes, i am sorry to break the news to you (perhaps you know this….) but there’s is a yukko part in the heel. the BAT part (Barletta-Trani-Andria). my mom is from a very tiny town called trinitapoli where the mindset is even tinier. i’ll be blogging about it soon if you want to follow the blog, i think you’ll get a kick out of a very different perspective than yours.

      1. What a coincidence! Yes, I’d be interested in reading your blog about the ‘not so pretty BAT’. I’m based in the Brindisi province and it’s beautiful around these part. Can’t say I’ve venture much up that way!

      2. Being from England, the snow was a welcoming sight during the festive season and I had never seen more than a dusting of the white stuff here before! In fact never had most of the locals… So I just had to do a blog on it!

  6. As unique as the crystals in each snow flake I think every writer, wannabe writer, and non-writer have individual purpose to writing.
    I am a wannabe writer! I love writing. In fact writing is a habit I have to get my thoughts together for almost every aspect of my life. Writing helps me learn scripture as I study the Bible. I use what I have read to apply it to life situations by writing. I write to describe my heart for the day. I write in hopes to help someone who needs an inspirational thought. I also write to develop the skills of writing I allowed to grow rusty! Sigh!
    Back in September 2014 I explained to my pastor that as I was studying scripture (in my first time reading the Bible in a year) that I had discovered new information I never realized were in scripture. He suggested I keep a journal as I studied. So I started blogging using scripture, thoughts rolling around in my mind, and some life applications. I am a slow blogger/writer right now because I want what I write to be interesting and enjoyable to the reader. I have a habit of jumping around in my thoughts! I certainly don’t want to wear out the reader who is trying to follow my thought process. Please stop giggling.
    Yes every writer is unique in their writing! No two people have the same thought process or ideas. Maybe close but not the same. As for me I am unique with many facets of uniqueness! Now back to the chocolate mentioned earlier!

  7. i think everyone can write. in fact, they do. they just don’t write it down and observe the connections. teach people to do that and they can write. i don’t think it’s a mystery, i think it’s a passion.

  8. Men and women are no that different when it comes to writing, at least that’s my personal opinion… The way we feel life, it’s basically the same, but two different people will write the same text in two different ways, regardless gender.

  9. Sorry Don, extraneous and erroneous apostrophe on the word ‘writers’ in last comment… oh the shame. Time for coffee, I think.

  10. Writing is the only artistic endeavour where both a silk purse and a sow’s ear can be profitable in their their original format, so it seems that writer’s are like bottles of wine really; one can open an old and very reputable bottle and be unhappy and one can open a cheap and new bottle from an unknown region and be very happy. Some will be intoxicating and others will make one ill. In the end it would seem that one person’s glass of white wine is another person’s window cleaner; this, for me, especially applies to literary agents.

  11. A thought provoking post and I enjoyed reading the Comments.

    Some blogs are informative and enthusiastic about their subject – a good read, but not necessarily great writing, a glimpse into somebody’s world … isn’t that what blogging is about? For me, the best ones are the ones you look forward to returning to, the ones with soul.

  12. Before i started blogging i never thought i have that ability to that could separate me out from others in writing. I think writing and writers we are all from this world with the will of translating each emotions and experience in words. So taking writers to be someone from mars , the concept is bit funny for me. No offenses . 🙂

  13. Before I started blogging, I wanted to write a book, but I would find myself not living up to the standards of some of my favorite writers. So, I read some advice online: (1) Use a blog to hone your writing skills, find your voice and hone your subject of expertise and (2) create a following before you create the book. So, I probably would call myself a writer at this point, but maybe not a very good one… yet. 🙂

  14. Like in any profession or aspect of life, some folks naturally have more talent than others. However, there is a lot of subjectivity when readers discuss writing styles and what they like. It isn’t a stretch to say that writing, like visual arts, has a plethora of customers who hold vastly different opinions. For instance, my husband loved Herman Melville’s, Moby Dick. I couldn’t make it past chapter one. I adore Diana Gabaldon’s, Outlander, but many of my fellow writers use her books to cure their insomnia. It’s talent and reader preference as to why you like one author more than another. Of course, there are flat out bad writers just as there are flat out bad artists, photographers, orators…You get the idea. 😉

  15. Without question, Don, I believe the answer is all the above and any of the above. Good writers might exercise some of these, but great writers undoubtedly have most of them working for them behind the scenes. Yes, even rich parents which I’ll treat as a metaphor for ‘means’ … a room of your own, perhaps, not having to work three jobs so you have time to write, not being so abused or neglected that didn’t learn to read or write. While you can certainly write and write great if born poor, the road will certainly be harder.

    Aptitude and talent is huge, but on it’s own it will not make any of us great without imagination. Put a child on a pair of ice skates or toss them in the water and you might see penguins and fish in their bodies, but without hard work, few of them are going to win Olympic medals.

    I can speak from my own experience that being well-read is as an asset (it’s where you learn words), but without the talent and imagination, you will only mimic and repeat.

    So much talent in this world sits barely used on couches and behind desks or lost on golf courses … and yes, I’m a golfer. Without enthusiasm, drive, goals and objectives, they will almost certainly be dreams unlived.

    Writing is a craft, it is 90% perspiration. It is resolve and it is hard word. It is felt, it is lived, and it must be loved. It means sacrifice, not going to a movie, staying indoors when others play, of saying no to a partner’s kiss.

    But so key to any of this is one thing you didn’t mention or perhaps it is what you meant by ‘chocolate,’ and that is that you must be sensitive to the world. I don’t mean sensitive to hurt or criticism, but I mean that you feel and sense the world. It means using the senses, it means listening to people, watching ‘and’ seeing the world. It means tasting it and knowing that a strawberry tastes amazing in July and sucks like styrofoam in December. It means listening to the sound of waves, hearing the sadness in a crowd, or knowing grace when you hear Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” It means knowing that the light is best in the afternoon. It is knowing what the back of your lover’s neck feels like in the dark and it is knowing what it feels like to lose something dear.

    A writer has to not only live life, but know that they are living it as they do ….

  16. Hard work and persistence.
    Do I beleive some people have an ear for words and can turn a pretty phrase without much effort? Sure. I’ also convinced if you read enough great writers, you can learn to write poetic prose.
    Do I think some individuals are born with the eye for the unusal that makes a perfect artistic perspective? Yep. I also believe if a person wants to have their eyes opened to these things, they can discover that special insight.
    Of course, since I was born with neither of these things – and I have long desired to be a published author – what other perspective could I possibly have?

  17. Inner knowledge and an ability to connect to that inner knowledge and also an ability to express that inner knowledge succinctly on paper in an inspiring, flowing, passionate and joyful way.

  18. Hi Don,
    This post is about writing, so I thought this might be a good place to ask you this. I see you post guest bloggers’ writing. I am looking for guest blogging opportunities. I follow Don Charisma. My blog is mycurrentnewsblog.com. I know you’re not familiar with my writing. Would you care to give me a challenge, perhaps a prompt of some sort, and if you feel my writing met your expectations for guest bloggers, perhaps you’ll reblog it or let me guest post? I would also be happy to meet any submission guidelines you may have. Thank you!!
    Janice Wald
    Reflections
    Mycurrentnewsblog.com

  19. Chocolate. The answer is ALWAYS chocolate!
    But seriously, I think that any writer can improve, there are books, classes, and blogs that can teach someone the basics of writing, but true raw talent is only gifted to those certain few. Just like anyone can learn to play the piano using books or classes, only a few will be truly exceptional. And no matter how many YouTube videos the pianist posts or how many blog posts the rest of us publish, we’ll never be a Federic Chopin or a Margaret Atwood.
    But that’s ok. That’s the beauty of these social media outlets, no one HAS to be perfect to be heard… although a little grammar could go a long way for some (even just a little, cause clearly I’m not that strict… starting a sentence with “and” geez… . 🙂

      1. heh heh heh… why not? I do it all the time! I also forget to end my parenthesis from time to time… so I guess following my own advice isn’t a strong suit of mine. That’s ok though, there are lots of books, classes, and blogs to help me out. 😉

  20. I agree with most of your own list of potential reasons, except rich parents and chocolate, neither of which do I have much experience of! As a writer of many serious publications, but as a novice in the world of blogging, I think there is an element of natural talent as some people seem to drift into it with comparative ease, while others struggle. But you do need to have a passion for what you are writing… firstly, do it for yourself, and take it as a bonus if others also like what you write.

  21. Don, I could not resist the opportunity to respond–via my own blog site. I see that you have already noticed it–you must be right on the computer. Thanks for the like!
    Jeff

  22. If You can grab someone’s mind a shake it to see what comes out then you are a writer. It’s got to have a connection so that the reader can immediately see the Image that the writer is writing about. If you can shake the reader how enough causing them to move
    then you are a writer. The chill, the rush that ah moment that’s what is all about

  23. Talent, passion and hard work! But talent, the way your brain is wired, is the biggest of these. I might like to paint or sing, and have the passion for it and work hard at it, but without the basic talent, I won’t be a special snowflake.

  24. A sprinkling of talent…and a LOT of damn hard work. Knowledge. Heart is important. Passion vital. But I could be passionate about being a vet and taking care of animals – if I do not know HOW to do it…. it will amount to not much more than a passion and talent and one day when an animal is dying… I will be able to do no more then tenderly, all be it with all my heart and soul and passion, caress its in its pain.
    Is that good enough for writing?
    I also like what Heartafire says… reasons. Dependant on the goal. BUT writing IS like a limb… teaching that limb to walk the way you want it to – takes practice, time, patience and understanding of how the limb works for you and against you depending on where you want the limb to go…
    Blah blah blah

  25. I was reaching a point where I was going to throw in the towel when it came to writing, but then I realised that I couldn’t, I just have to keep writing, it’s all I want to do and the only thing that makes me happy, practise makes perfect though.

  26. I believe writing is a calling, you can’t write if you don’t have a yearn to do so. When there is a yearning, it makes it easy to put words together into constructive lines. Most of us are babies in the writing world who are pushing through the panic just to get to the praise.I happened to read noelle44 “About” and trust me, her last lines knocked me down. “…for now I am just a young writer trying to find my voice…”. Guess, she’s right cos I share the same sentiment as her.

  27. As not all the fingers in a hand are similar, so are we, in our skills. Some can write well, while others struggle to produce out even few lines..
    Its all about how one thinks and how much one can feel, how much one is being sensitive for things..
    For me, pain is a motivator, it automatically switches one to write.. 🙂 but maybe am wrong to say this
    bless you all…stay happy 🙂

  28. The teacher at an oil painting class said about painting, “It is 10% talent and 90% hard work.” That hard work entails learning and practicing. I think the same applies to writing. It is a craft that work at, gleaning information about making it better.

  29. A lot of people, like myself, blog as an outlet. We like to write about our days, or ramble on about our silly children or the frustrations of every day life. We also like to ask questions. There is nothing wrong with writing this way. Then, as you say, there are WRITER’s out there. I have come across so many beautiful writers. I can hear their voices as I read their pieces. They have such character, such talent. It’s amazing! Props to anyone who likes to share their words as stories or just simple outlets.

  30. I agree with the others about the flow and how great writing paints a picture. Some of it is taken at the value of the medium. For a book, I would frown if there was spelling mistakes but I notice them and brush them off on a personal blog.

    I also agree with Ben Wonders about the nurturing of the talent. We are not born as a Pilot Baby or a Custodial Baby. For whatever reason (and there are many factors), the first decided to commit to being trained to do this profession.

  31. oh what beautiful snow crystals picture!

    I think anyone who wants to write, should write whatever the purpose of the writing. Some people get a lot of readers, others none at all. The writing does not always need readers. But those who wants to write, do always need to write. Does that make sense?

  32. Im no writer, its an outlet, i write what i want to read, but im a big reader, and i love to imagine the picture being painted for me, im like that with music too, paint me a picture and im happy.

  33. I think we all have a certain amount of potential as writers before we even begin. I’d love to think hard work is the entire equation but it is not. Some people have the natural potential to be great writers, while others can only be at most, mediocre, no matter how hard they try. But the key is this: A mediocre writer with mediocre potential is much more of a writer than a non-writer with higher potential. Potential vs. Action.

  34. Talent coupled with passion, for me, creates a spectacular writer. You have a feeling it’s effortless, and you can picture the writer having fun doing his art. 😀

  35. I feel good writing is when u can feel what is written. It’s feeling the emotions associated with the writer. It’s the ability to captivate the audience with your story and keep them coming back for more. I enjoy reading what you write.

  36. hmmm…Well, if it engages you, then it’s good. People often suggest books to me that are touted as brilliant, and I can’t even get past the first page. Subjective for sure!

  37. Such an interesting text…I think some of us are narcissist who love to write about ourselves, then there are those who seek therapy in writing, others are very creative and gifted writers. We can find them all among these blogs.

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