Is my writing an innate gift or a result of practice?
When I went to kindergarten, teachers taught me to write – letters, numbers, words – either in English or some other language. I was ‘writing’, but really what I was doing was practising my fingers and hand muscles to hold my pencil correctly. When I reached primary and high schools, I was taught to write stories, argumentative essays and other types of writing, usually on current social or political subjects that were ‘issues’.
What used to be practising to hold a pen or a pencil correctly had become practising to think or write correctly. What used to be exercising my physical muscles had become straining to use my intellectual muscles – probably just for the sake of showing that I was better than others.
Even if writing is not an innate gift for me, perhaps all these years of practice of my intellectual muscles has resulted in some improvement in my writing. Whether I’m writing for my own sake or not, well, that’s another story …
From a brief SSOA creative writing exercise by Rachel Ngui.
And now the thoughts of two masters:
The gift of writing is to be self-forgetful … to get a surge of inner life or inner supply or unexpected sense of empowerment, to be afloat, to be out of yourself.
Words – so innocent and powerful as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.
Graphic images – freepik.com & all-free-download.com
Heaney photo Nobel Prize; Hawthorne photo Wiki