The lie of the so-called “natural writer”

There is a lie that abounds in certain circles of the so-called “natural writer”. But there is no such thing. It is a lie that exists like a secret false religion, perpetrated by people who should know better. A lie that feels like a truth.

The lie: Only a “natural writer” can write

The lie is this – that there is a single right way to write which only some people (not you) can do. Writers, we are told, are born, not made. Only special people, we are told, can tell stories that others will want to hear. There are natural writers and then there are the rest of us.

As a practical upshot of this lie is another untruth – that your story is not worth anything. You and I, we are told, have nothing of value to say to the world. Other people, not us, can tell stories because only the elect, the chosen few, can tell original stories.

Almost everyone feels like they have at least one novel in them. The lie says that this novel is a vanity project that no one will care about. After all, it says, you are not a “natural writer”.

The lie says writing is too hard.

It is the lie that says you cannot do it.

The lie says that whatever you do will be wrong. Or worse, embarrassing, bad, and wrong.

The truth: Anyone can be a writer

born a writer

Let me tell you one simple truth. A truth that elitist writing circles do not want you to know. No one is born knowing how to write. We are not even born knowing how to sit up or feed ourselves. These are all things we learn.

Writing is no different. You can learn to tell amazing stories. You can learn to write.

Are you dyslexic and struggle with spelling. Me too. That has yet to stop me telling stories – all it means is that my first drafts are extra messy. But you know what – no one sees your first draft. After the spell checker has finished, after the proofreader has double checked your work, and after you have polished your story, there will be no difference.

Maybe your early drafts are too much tell and not enough show. So what? It is not where you start that defines a writer but where you stop.

You can be a writer. That novel inside you needs only time and effort to make it to the page.

The idea of a “natural writer” is a myth designed to stop you showing us what you have got.

Don’t let the liars stop you

For some reason, there exists in this world people who only want to tell you that you can’t write. Alongside them are the ones who want to tell you that you are doing it wrong.

Some want to bog you down with (often wrong) ideas about active and passive voice or some other technicality. These things do not matter – only telling your story matters. Your story is something that only you can tell.

Others tell you that your ideas are not original enough. What they mean though is that they fear their ideas are not good enough. The truth is that there are only a handful of plots in all existence. What matters is not originality but how you tell your story. If one hundred writers were given the same plot, you would get one hundred different stories. Possibly more.

Ignore the lies. Tell your stories.

Spread the truth

Give us a like if you know the truth that there is no such thing as a “natural writer”. Writing is a skill anyone can learn.

Help us fight the lies by spreading the truth. Share this article far and wide – or perhaps even write your own blog post exposing the truth that we can all be writers.

Tell your friends – we are all writers if we want to be.

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