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Are Writer's Born or Made

In: English and Literature

Submitted By naturalgirl2014
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Are Writers Born or Made?
The novel On writing A memoir of the Craft written by Stephen King gives rise to a great question. Are great authors born or made? According to Stephen King,” I don’t believe writers can be made, either by circumstance or self-will (although I did believe those things once” (King 18). The author is suggesting that a writer is born with the ability to be a good writer and it is through learned behaviors that these “talents are strengthened and sharpened.” (King 18). I feel King’s belief is very valid, many authors are born with a desire to write and with the determination and drive that it takes to become a great writer.
Not all authors are in agreement with Stephen Kings perception on how an author is born not made. One in particular Dorthea Brande, the author of Becoming a Writer feels, “genius can be taught (once the secret emptiness of that phrase is understood) because in fact genius is as common as old shoes”. (Brande 12). This is quite an appealing idea and given Brande’s history and background I can understand some of her viewpoints on the matter. Brande (1893-1948) truly believes that a person has capability to take what little genius they are born with and transform it into the ability to become a great writer. The author puts a lot of emphasis on the idea that writes need to know what kind of habits impede the writing process. She describes “ways to help them develop healthy habits (there are reasons most writers smoke too much and drink too much coffee, or gin).” (Brande 15). Her ultimate goal allows writer to get in touch with their unconscious and guide them from freedom of all writers block. Although she states in her novel many literacy figures argue “writing cannot be taught“, her soul purpose of the novel is to teach anyone who wants to write how to do it.
Stephen King’s novel is laid out perfectly. It is through his “snapshots” of his life, that he gives us in this book, that one can see actually see what it takes to become a good writer. His statement about a writer being born not made is true in of himself. He had the desire to write as long as he could remember and he used that as his driving force to become the great author he is today. His belief that in order to be a successful writer one must “read a lot and write a lot.” (King 151). This is true and many great writers follow this commandment Jack London believed one must write at least a 1000 words a day. Many people who are great writers have a strong admiration for reading and a gift of writing. Normally when one is gifted with a talent we are quick to say that it is God given, which would support King’s idea writers are born not made.
These two author are both huge fans of fiction and their ideas on what it takes to be a good writer are very similar it is just the “born” factor that seems to set them apart. Truly if one was doing a critical analysis on Brande, they could question her thoughts that a writer can be made on her idea of “genius being taught”. People can be born with the ability to be a good writer, as well as advanced intellectual capabilities. Genius is something we are born with some of us are just more naturally intelligent than others. Her idea is that as long as you are born with some genius the rest can be taught but the truth is, you are still born with it the rest is learned and practiced. I took her idea as staying as long as a writer is born with a little desire or knowledge to become a writer she could teach him the rest. Really in that sense it not much different than King’s view.
In closing after reviewing numerous ideas on what it takes to become a good writer and if a writer is truly born not made, I feel Stephen King had it right. “Literature is an endeavor of searching the space of sentiment and feeling. The feeling and sentiment connects one person with another. Science and technology can never and in no age can ignore the feeling and sensibility of the creator. The heartless science and technology can never challenge this truth of a creation. Some people may argue that literary creation as an outcome of continual endeavor. Creation is essentially an outcome of inherent ingenuity. The living creation cannot be created by an endeavor. Inherent ingenuity is the must. A writer is born not made.” (Writers).

Works Cited
King, Stephen. On writing A Memoir of the Craft. New York: Scribner 2000. Print.
Brande, Dorthea. Becoming a Writer. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. 1934 ed. Reprint.
“Writers are Born Not Made”. Word Press. n.d. Web. 14 September 2013 < http://spywriter.wordpress.com>

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