Youmna Bou Hadir, a youth-trainer and community liaison at FADE IN: had a few things to say about Nadia’s latest article Can Writing Be Taught. Her response is below:
“To write competently is to do a few magic tricks for friends and family; to write well is to run away to join the circus.” ~ Toby Litt
What makes you a writer is in fact putting pen to paper. You are a writer simply because you are a person who writes. Your creative process is exclusively your own and the little things that inspire you may well be uniquely yours as well.
This article is inspired by a conversation I had with Nadia, after reading her last blog post. The way I see it, Nadia’s initiative is beautiful, in essence, but once you’ve exhausted your journey, how do you bring yourself back to ground level?
I guess it’s just a reality check that may apply to many, experienced travelers of the creative journey.
The journey, rather than the outcome itself, is by far the most difficult in nature. Choosing to create, and to create better through extensive training, is not an easy decision, but once that decision is made, the learning process begins and it’s a snowball effect that helps you grow as a person and as an artist.
In her blogpost article, Nadia discusses two categories of good writing, the tangible and the intangible, which do apply to all writers in their journey of artistic self-discovery. I do acknowledge that writing is a craft that requires passion, dedication, and practice, like any other creative craft. I believe, however; that practice is an element that you exercise through being taught to write BETTER, compared to your OWN previous works, which, eventually, you will. It does not necessarily lead to ultimate good writing, a lifelong learning process.
Yes, it is a learning process, and you will not learn everything in one sitting, as Nadia pointed out. Actually, you will never learn everything, and if you think you have, in my opinion, you have deemed your own writing, lacking. Great writers only stop learning about the craft and about themselves as craftsmen/women … when they die.
Nadia also discusses how dealing with the intangible tools of good writing help you break down your self-built barriers to better express yourself. This, in essence, is great stuff, but does that make you amazing at the craft?
Ideally, it seems to me that the lessons that you learn are lessons on how to write BETTER (than your past-self) as opposed to how to write WELL. The scary part is in the fact that you only learn that you can write well after you go through this journey, and if you don’t, the challenge is accepting it, and having the maturity to believe that you are not in fact the next Stephen King, which absolutely does not rid you of your title. You ARE a writer, just not the best.
And that’s okay!
Your talent may well be invested in a different artistic field, and what you learn on your journey of artistic discovery as a writer does in fact intersect with many other fields of creativity, and that same artistic discovery makes you a better, more rounded person.
The truth is, what you ‘either have’ or ‘don’t have,’ is the innate talent to express with words, and not the ability to tell stories. In fact, you are born with the same need to tell stories as you do to be told them.
And stories are not only told in writing.
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