Can I “Decide” to Become a Writer?
Is writing a gift like singing, drawing, and others? The argument is ageless:
“Are writers born or made?”
I think it’s possible to improve every skill we have and even learn new ones very fast. The human capacity to learn is often underrated. Looking at babies, it’s amazing to see what they can accomplish in their short stay out of the womb.
When it comes to skills, I think we’ve been preconditioned through the educational system — among other things — to ignore that every human learns differently. Even if that difference isn’t blatant.
Also, we’ve placed some skills and abilities above others. With the industrial revolution, it was very important to be able to work in a system, at particular hours, and follow instructions. Life depended on it.
If we look at Healthcare and how much we need it to stay alive, Medicine as a field had to become standardized and more appealing.
Some skills, in some cultures, have become more important than others. As the culture evolves, society needs to send more members towards it.
Art has hardly been one of such fields. I don’t know if it’s because of its non-quantifiable nature, but many of the world’s greatest artists have always been venerated.
Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, etc.
Sadly, our selective memory elevates those who stood out by being extremely talented. We hardly study how they got there. At worst, we assume they were born talented. At best, we keep the argument going.
Books like Real Artists Don’t Starve by Jeff Goins and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, try to capture the essence behind such amazing successes.
These ‘talented’ people worked really hard, apprenticed for long hours, had lots of failures, often doubted their abilities, gained confidence by doing, were lucky, and often had a chip on their shoulders where they were driven by big goals to be the best they could be.
They had a lot of support, communities they could bounce ideas with a notable one of such relationships is between C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien.
Yes, you can decide to be a writer.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard” — Kevin Durant
The only way to know if you're good at it is to try for a long enough time to have information about the skill and your personal aptitude. This trial needs to involve deliberate practice.
And oh, a lot of reading.
I can’t finish without saying that some people are better at it than others. Everyone has an unfair advantage.
But when you really want something, you’ll either find a way to get it or eventually convince yourself you don’t need it.
Either way, the choice, in the end, is yours.
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