Friday, December 23, 2011
Am I a Born or Made Writer?
I am not quite sure what the correct answer is, but I feel I am both. My early childhood has never been devoted to writing or art activities. It was science and mathematics that was emphasized in my early education. Later in my high school years, for some twist of luck, I was chosen by my English instructor to be editor of our high school newspaper. I was forced to write articles as fillers for the newspaper and was taught the basics of news writing and editing. I also started writing poetry in both English and our national language (Tagalog). During my high school years, I entertained the thought of taking journalism as a career in college. My parents however discouraged me, stating there is no money in writing and I will not be able to support a family. They wanted me to be a lawyer, doctor of medicine or a catholic priest. At their urgings, I enrolled as a pre-medical student at the University of the Philippines, Iloilo College. At the end of my second year, I learned I will never be a good doctor as the sight of blood nauseated me. I shifted to Chemistry and the rest is history.
My years as an undergraduate and graduate student emphasized science, mathematics and engineering. It was only after my retirement that I started blogging and learned that I enjoy writing. This is true also for my oldest son. He wrote a novel (Cloyne Court) after finishing law school and now is on his second novel. He told me he writes as a hobby and is a relaxation therapy for him. Writing to him is a good diversion from his hectic life as a prosecuting attorney here in Northern California.
There is a common saying that if you can talk, you can write. But great writing is a born talent and I believe can not be taught. The passion to write is born. People have different reasons why they write. A few writes for the sake of writing and can not survive without it. Others write to earn a living and work hard to be a successful writer, reporter or novelist.
So why do I write for ViewsHound. First, I enjoy writing. Second, to advertise my beach resort in the Philippines and last but not least is to get affirmation from readers and other writers that they enjoy reading my articles. Reading positive comments from others is an ego boost and makes me feel alive and useful during this stage of my life (retirement and old age).
Getting a monetary award and badges are another ego boosts, but I have learned these are no longer my primary incentives why I am writing for ViewsHound. I have also learned not to compare myself with the other writers. I have my own style of writing and if I write from the heart, nothing can go wrong.
Most writers that I know write because they love writing. To them writing is just like breathing. These born writers do not work hard to create an excellent article, because their writing comes from the heart and their soul. Others write with a lot of work, training and pain. Good writers run in the family as exemplified by the family of Stephen King. Most writers however are made and only become good writers through hard work and constant practice. The most common traits of good writers are patience and persistence, whether their writing talent is inborn or just developed.
Allow me to quote Jan Bird from her recent article, The Writing Bug. "Writing for me right now, is like love. It isn't something I do, it happens to me. It takes me completely by surprise when I least expect it and then it absolutely refuses to let go until it wants to. It's intoxicating and irrational".
This is how a born writer feels everyday of his/her life. Writing to inborn writers must feel like addiction or a compulsion that must be satiated.
How about you? Are you a born writer or a made writer? Do you agree with the statement that good writers can be made but great writers are born? I will be glad to hear from you!