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NorthStar7
01-16-2013, 10:06 PM
Are good writers born with an innate inclination to writing? In other words, is writing talent mostly genetic?


Or is it something that is cultivated largely through hard work, pointed feedback, and perseverance?


Please feel free to share any personal anecdotes involving you and/or others.

Maryn
01-16-2013, 10:19 PM
I'm not at ease participating in any AW poll in which Orlando Bloom and eggplant are not even options!

Maryn, directing you to AW History (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=176) to get the joke

Lavern08
01-16-2013, 10:42 PM
...is it something that is cultivated largely through hard work, pointed feedback, and perseverance?


You mean, like eggplant? :tongue

DeleyanLee
01-16-2013, 10:55 PM
What is this "writing talent" you ask about? Writing encompasses so many abilities and skills, I'm not sure what you're shooting for.

Maze Runner
01-16-2013, 11:00 PM
I think there are traits like a good eye and ear, a good mind and sensitivity to nuance that are largely genetic. But then, it has so much to do with what we experience as kids. So, for me, like everything, it's a combination of innate tendencies, life experiences, and work.

Liralen
01-16-2013, 11:18 PM
It's a lot like the "nature or nurture" debate -- there's no either/or that I can tell. I think a talent, creativity, imagination, an ability to observe -- some sort of inclination needs to be present, a spark, but without work, nurturing it, learning and honing skills, and absolutely an amount of self-discipline, talent isn't enough.

And then there's the writer (wish I could remember who), who observed that one of the necessary ingredients is coming from a dysfunctional family ;)

Maze Runner
01-16-2013, 11:27 PM
It's a lot like the "nature or nurture" debate -- there's no either/or that I can tell. I think a talent, creativity, imagination, an ability to observe -- some sort of inclination needs to be present, a spark, but without work, nurturing it, learning and honing skills, and absolutely an amount of self-discipline, talent isn't enough.

And then there's the writer (wish I could remember who), who observed that one of the necessary ingredients is coming from a dysfunctional family ;)

Yes, and you don't know what will be just the right amount of dysfunction, or friction, for which individuals, sometimes in the same family. You know, one child grows up to be someone who just loves to learn. The next child grows up to be someone who just loves to burn ... it's a family affair

lastlittlebird
01-16-2013, 11:30 PM
I think it's different for everyone. Some people might be born with innate skills that lend themselves to writing/storytelling.
Some people might have a conviction that they are a writer and that leads them to practice until they can say what they want to say in the way they want to say it.
I think you can become a writer without innate skill, but you probably can't be one without conviction (even if the conviction isn't always strong or unwavering).

CatharsisChild
01-16-2013, 11:45 PM
To be honest, I never dream of being a writer when I was a kid. Actually, I never did think much about what I wanted to be. For a time, I wanted to be a fireman. However, I had a knack for coming up with crazy stories. I didn't realize until high school that I had potential. It was definitely part genetic and part hard work.

NorthStar7
01-16-2013, 11:47 PM
The third poll option is writing is equally genetic and hard work.

KellyAssauer
01-17-2013, 12:37 AM
I'm not at ease participating in any AW poll in which Orlando Bloom and eggplant are not even options!

It's not really a poll, is it? ;)

quickWit
01-17-2013, 12:43 AM
This is just silly. Everyone knows it's eggplant. No question.

Davarian
01-17-2013, 12:59 AM
Made. If an idea captures a person and bonds to him/her strong enough, eventually that person will write it down somewhere, in some form. It's in all of us; you can see it in diaries, Facebook posts, journals... But it requires motivation, practice, and time to be refined into the skill that is writing.









MAH 50TH POST
*turns and bows*

Lavern08
01-17-2013, 01:04 AM
It's not really a poll, is it? ;)

Maybe it's a pool? :Shrug:

Chase
01-17-2013, 01:17 AM
Maybe it's a pool?

It's a pole, with which you shouldn't touch a subject like this.

I was born to write, but reading good books and lots of education showed me the folly of my birthright.

Medievalist
01-17-2013, 01:25 AM
I wasn't born to write; I learned.

I don't even particularly like writing, but I can do it and it generates income.

I write non-fiction though, and I do think that's rather different from fiction.

I'm not suited to write fiction. I can deal with the prose, but I don't have story. I don't think story can be taught, though I do think it can be encouraged.

Cliff Face
01-17-2013, 01:53 AM
I like what someone else here said about imagination. As in, you can be born with imagination and various other things relevant to writing, but that you still need to put in the hard work.

I spent most of my childhood daydreaming and playing by myself, so a part of me thinks that I'd answer "Genetic". However, I recognise that, even though I enjoyed writing short stories in school, it wasn't until quite recently that I actually got good at writing (at least by my standards).

I credit editing with that leap in ability, which is a lot of hard work.

(And I, too, think this is a matter of the nature/nurture debate, and that it'll be different for different people.)

Kerosene
01-17-2013, 02:00 AM
Eggplant.

Everyone is born with the same set of tools, we just need to learn how to use them.

Ken
01-17-2013, 02:07 AM
Are good writers born with an innate inclination to writing?

... there are some among us who seem to be. At age 5! they're plying away and working wonders. Guess you'd call 'em protegees. Even just taking an interest in writing or maybe even just an intense one in reading is enough to indicate such. I was the complete opposite. Hated English with a passion. If anyone would've told me that I'd be pursuing writing when I got older I'd have laughed. Fate can be funny sometimes.

ps good selection of poll choices there. really gives a complete range.

jjdebenedictis
01-17-2013, 09:08 AM
Considering it's entirely possible to be illiterate, I would argue that people can't be born writers. We're not even born speakers.

However, I would argue that we're often born with certain traits that come in handy, if we're inclined to try to become a writer.

But science has also found that people can create mental capacity. If you practice, you can create ability where none (or little) existed before.

So I don't know how to answer the poll. Even option 3 doesn't quite fit. We're born with strengths and weaknesses but mostly we're born with a very flexible brain.

French Maiden
01-17-2013, 09:36 AM
I think it depends on the person. I believe in my case it's genetic as well as just my personality. I've always been a creative person, wanting to express myself in different ways, I suck at art and drawing, sculpting etc so I find words a great way to express myself.

My grandfather was always a fantastic story teller. He had such a creative mind and would tell stories to his 5 kids every night before they went to bed. They came solely from his own mind.
My aunty is a published poet.

I think it can be both genetics and hard work. I mean if someone had a desire to write and works hard enough at it even without the genetic pre-disposition they can achieve what they set out to do.

KellyAssauer
01-17-2013, 03:11 PM
Are Writers Born or Made?

It's entirely up to the people around me. I have no control over it. I've found nice quiet corners in coffee houses, pulled out my journals and notebooks and gone to work dreamily staring out windows. Then I'd return to the same spot in a semi-daily routine, and sometimes it took hours, sometimes months, before someone made me for a writer... but it always happened. So, I'll go with made. ;)

cornflake
01-17-2013, 03:18 PM
Talent? Genetic. Success? Work, etc.

That I think people are innately talented or not doesn't, just btw, preclude people who are not so from becoming good at it through a combination of work, study, etc., in my view.