Albert Einstein once said, "Genius is one percent talent and 99 percent hard work." And writing, it turns out, is just like that. Without hard work, all inspiration and creative talents will be wasted.
We recently saw this great interview of Tony Birch, an Australian writer whose first novel Blood was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award. Birth teaches creative writing at the University of Melbourne. When asked whether creative writing can be taught, his view is worth quoting to some length:
"A good writing class establishes an atmosphere where students first learn to value reading quality writing, and gain knowledge from it. And then realizing that a writing career is based on discipline, regular labor and a passion for curiosity, creativity, and the shift from an idea to work on the page."
"I don't teach writing to get students published. Most will never publish. I teach to create a foundation for those who will continue to write long after they leave university, and to illustrate to each of my students that both reading and writing enhance both the intellectual and creative ability in all of us."
"Those who continue to claim that creative writing cannot be taught seem to believe that it is a 'natural' talent, and that good writers are inherently 'gifted'. Some are gifted and some may be naturally talented. So what? It's only part of the story, and a small part of it. And so what if a writing student is not good enough to be published? Many of my students leave my class having a greater respect for what writers do. And they become better readers -- for life."
For the full interview and Tony Birch's advice for someone waiting to be a writer, please click here.