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Are Writers Born or Made? The Gap Between the Great Writers and, the Writers of Today Answers the Question.


By Hitee Singh

They say a writer is born not made but is what they say really true?

From the brief encounters I’ve had had with books, I don’t think that all of them who penned down those books adhere to this old adage. There are so many things that shape a person into a writer.

The Unique Words and Ideas:

From where I can see, there are two qualities that make a person a writer- words and ideas. The usage of words and language is something which can be learnt. It takes time and one may not be a connoisseur but one can definitely be able to write a decent book. Ideas are very difficult to come by. They can never be infused into our brains. To have ideas, you need to open up and look around. Great writers took inspiration from their surroundings, their lives and I am sticking my neck out by making this statement that in order to write about something it isn’t necessary that you have to experience it, a front row seat will do it.

Many of you must be thinking why did the words ‘great writers’ in the previous sentence were succeeded by ‘took’ and not ‘take’. Simple great writers are dinosaurs- extinct!

The new generation of writers who have the audacity to confer themselves with such a holy word is of mainly three types-

1. The Roadsides

They write only for roadside stalls because that’s the only place where their books will be bought by people whose attention in a book remains as long there is promiscuity in it. Probably the easiest genre to write. Example? 50 Shades of Grey, One Night at the Call Centre, Half Girlfriend and many more.

1 (1)

Spoiler Alert! I may also end up in this category if my current career choice doesn’t elevate my future prospects.

2. The Shooting Stars

They have put in their effort and time to churn out a masterpiece which definitely is one in terms of words and ideas but then it is followed by writer’s block, drought and bankruptcy. They may be able to produce one or two products but not of that calibre. Writers like Arundhati Roy and Kiran Desai stand under this banner.

2 (1)

3. The Snobs

They write in perfect balance just to impress the jury members of the leading literary awards. And according to them, the best recipe for a book is tearing down the oriental nations. Aravind Adiga author of The White Tiger befits this title.

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But in the end, what makes a writer great?

He is a writer minus all these three things. Look at Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, P.G Wodehouse, O.Henry, Shakespeare and many others. All of them were not one time wonders, didn’t write to impress the critics and neither did they write soapy, romantics novels. Their works echoed the laughter of their characters, smelt of seasons they wrote about and visualised the plight.

My friend once told me that she wanted to write but didn’t know how to start. All I told her was “don’t force it; words will come to you when you are ready”.

That brings me to my verdict. Great writers are born but if you want to be one of the above three type of writer you can be moulded into those easily.

So make your choice.

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