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Old 12-12-2012, 03:18 AM
JoeMatt (Offline)
 
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Originally Posted by Mike C View Post
No they can't. You can 'learn to write', ie you can become literate, but if you don't have innate talent (as Twain most obviously did) you might as well never try anything more complicated than a shopping list.

If all it takes is a bit of practice, why aren't we all writing bet-sellers?
I've come across this argument on writing sites umpteen times. I've looked into it and from what I've seen, people aren't really born with talent -- it's not innate in that sense -- but the type of learning that takes place in the formative years, approx. 1-8, can't really be duplicated as an adult. So the outcome is the same -- some people have more talent than others and some don't seem to have much at all.

Regardless of when talent is attained, it's the pipe dream of every hack and struggling newbie that if you just work hard enough you can overcome a lack of it. It's something they can hold on to until they reach the point when it finally dawns on them that they don't have what it takes. A lot depends on a person's ability to self-evaluate, and some people are awful at that -- note American Idol etc. The level of self-delusion can be amazing.

Last edited by JoeMatt; 12-12-2012 at 04:11 AM..
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