Besides actual writers with published material for which they were paid, what is the difference between people who write well and people who aren't as good at it? Is it really just practice? If you write enough drivel, do you eventually learn how to write well?
I somehow doubt it. There is certainly some level of mastery that comes with practice, but much of the magic of the written word is conveyed by people with a talent for words, for the way they go together, and a willingness to try something non-standard and see how it goes.
Recently, I was at a party where I was mostly in a group with lots of people I didn't know. In these kinds of situations, I do generally get a little bit silly. It's also good to be able to read people's faces and feed off what they are enjoying, and what they are tolerating. At some point, one of the ladies in the group said I should write for this online magazine her daughter ran because they're always looking for fresh writers and I was cracking her up. I took the information about the magazine, but I could never do it. Writing is just a totally different skill than talking. I go back and read stuff I've written, and it bores me to tears. (I apologize to those of you that actually come to this page and read the drivel I put together.)
I know several people that really can write, and I am blessed to know them (and healthier for the laughter). I, on the other hand, will continue to write drivel until I can get it to be better drivel.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
3 months ago