I've lost my free card…

Posted on Posted in journal

Elizabeth Bear talks about writerly talent:

Here's what I think about talent. It's true: some people have more than others. And I suspect if one is going to make it as a writer, one walks in with a free card. One thing you can do coming out of the gate. One aspect of the tremendous interwoven craft of writing that you're naturally good at. It may be worldbuilding or plot or voice or language or structure or theme. Something you do right, from day one.

Me, if I have a free card, it's probably grammar. Which is not a talent so much as anal retentiveness, right? Well, you have to know the rules before you can use them (and abuse them) effectively; but still I don't think it qualifies.

But there I wonder if the free cards are only handed out for the identifiable set of writing skills. Does having a natural aptitude for being bulldog-stubborn count?

I'm being facetious of course, but I think Bear's right: some do have more talent than others. Or rather, different talents. I also believe that talents you don't possess can be learned; they're called skills in that case. And it doesn't matter where you start. If you're determined, and eager, enough you'll apply yourself to learning the other skills.