By Michala T.
I strongly believe that every individual has the potential within them to be creative in one fashion of another. Although there are a number of ways to express themselves creatively, this site of course focuses on the art of writing more so than most other forms however we do appreciate all arts and welcome them here. I wanted to dive into what it is that makes a writer a writer today. There are those who are of mind that one cannot learn the art of writing while others hold it can be. I for one believe that everyone is a writer and either it lies dormant inside the body and mind or it is practiced. However, I do not believe that practice makes perfect applies here. Still, if the art of writing is harnessed what is it that makes one writer better or seemingly more welcomed than another?
One’s personality is a strong attribute in most any aspect of their lives, would you not agree? Those who have distinguishing personality characteristics (many, not just one) are going to be able to portray their story character’s traits with more exuberance than person with the monolithic but single behavior. Imagine Ben Stein trying to write all the Harry Potter characters. It just doesn’t seem plausible and if he did, I am imagining them all in that singular voice…which would be pretty drab if you ask me. Those with a lively personality tend to take risks and experience more in life; these things go a long way when writing.
Another element that makes for a better writer is their sensitivity to language. A gifted writer is able to use language by effectively creating images, dialogue, and helps the reader incorporate all their senses. Take for example William Shakespeare, a man who most would readily admit can be hard to read and harder to understand. But look at his words here from Macbeth:
“Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
No matter how complex this may be written, when one reads it, it invokes feeling. It stirs within you sensations that you are already applying your own personal experiences to and demanding to understand and connect to it. This takes a lot of creativity and not every writer can do it.
Though this may sound like the opposite advice, efficient writers utilize reoccurring themes to build their stories. Moral dilemmas, interpersonal relationship issues, the battle between good and evil, and obtaining our desires are all topics that hook and hold the reader. Why? Because they can relate. There are of course plenty of fantasies and Science Fiction and Paranormal stories in which there are attributes we can’t necessarily bond with but it is those underlying themes in our own lives that we long to see mingled within the fantastic and unrealistic lives of the characters in our books.
Of course there is always the concept of luck. Everywhere we turn there are those who are just gifted with a little bit of sweat and a lot of luck. I could name names…oh and I have many but that would be rude of me since this isn’t my ranting edition! Luck can only get a person so far though and eventually they have to go back to relying on those variables that I have discussed. I do believe that the world of e-readers and the availability of self-publishing has made it a much more attainable goal for those who put the time and effort in. They do not have to travel the world and visit book stores and libraries anymore. They can do so much right from the seat of their desk, no less, in their own pajamas. (I’ll have you know I’m fully dressed!)
Writing requires an intrinsic motivation. It requires the will to push through those moments where nothing wants to come (some would call this writer’s block). Those who are smart enough to build a strong foundation that incorporates a religious writing schedule as well as a strong support system will find that eventually they will see a steady increase in their personal successes. The secret is to keep it fun and to never stop writing.(Snoopy cartoon credit goes to Peanuts)