Talent Versus Skill

You’re going to be rejected. A lot.

Like, a WHOLE lot.

And it will hurt, every single time.

I’m not saying you should give up – in fact, this blog is to say the opposite.

Writing is, controversially enough, a talent and a skill. There are some people, I’ve discovered, who pick a side – but for what reason? If you’re capable of practicing and honing your craft, it becomes a skill. Yes, there are some people who are naturally capable of telling a story, and hooking an audience with their words. Technically, that’s a natural talent.

They can absolutely co-exist.

So if you don’t have that natural-born talent, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It means you need to bust your ass twice as hard. Three times as hard. You have every chance of getting published, or recognized for your work.

Those born with talent still need to practice. Writing is an especially difficult skill, considering you are constantly evolving. I’m a better writer now than I was two weeks ago.

When I say constant, I mean it.

Some of the key things to improving your skill or talent (whichever category you fall under):

1.) Write more.

It should be obvious, but still, I have to say it. Write everyday if you can. Not necessarily on your projects, but whatever comes to mind.

2.) READ more.

Find authors that inspire you. Read everything you can from them. Notice their style of storytelling, or whatever speaks to you most. This can help you find your own voice.

3.) Find an editor you vibe with.

This matters a lot more than you might think. You want to be on the same page as your editor, because it makes the critiques easier to swallow. You want to trust your editor and know they’re only telling you what you need to hear, in order to sell the best version of your book.

They’ll tell you when your writing is lazy, or when you’re using words that no one knows just so you can feel smart (don’t ever talk down to your audience, by the way).

4.) Good writing is rewriting.

Be prepared to start back from square one. Yes, you can cry about it. Maybe have some s’mores flavored liquor or a couple cigarettes. Eat an entire pizza by yourself. Take your moment; I understand.

But understand, at the end of the day: rewriting your story will only make it more powerful. With each new version, you have something that you previously didn’t.

With all of this in mind, I want to reiterate: it does not matter if you have talent, or if it’s just a skill you work on.

If you put in the time, effort, and dedication – maybe a blood sacrifice here or there – you can become the writer you want to be.

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