In the world of writing there as many different styles as there are words. Writers from all walks of life, all different backgrounds and different levels of education battle the blank page to inform and entertain. Natural writers, those without formal education, full of passion, and a love for the written word, are often combating the educated writers, the English Lit graduates, and formally taught. The world of writing is competitive both sides fight for the same audience. But is there a preferred method to becoming a writer? Does natural talent outweigh education? Will someone overlook a fantastic work written by a High School dropout to choose a college graduates piece simply because of education? Let’s take a moment to look at a comparison of both the natural writers and those who are taught.
Every successful writer has a love for writing. Without it, their works are simply mass produced pieces of boring sentences. Without emotion there is no relation from the reader. Those with natural talent are able to take their experiences and ideas and lay them out in a way the readers can understand and relate to. They put themselves in each word, punctuation, and sentence. They write what they feel because they feel what they write.
There is constant debate on natural talent versus formal education. One side may express the need for the passion that natural writers have and the simplified way they can compose their piece for all audiences. Others may take the side of the formally educated, stating that the need for a good vocabulary and proper grammar is imperative.
If you are a writer with natural talent, there is a chance you have doubted your abilities. There were times when you find your work sub-par, even by your own standards. Those of us who rely on our personal love for writing may have even spent time away from the blank page to pursue other careers. The passion however, brought us back. That is the difference between natural writers and those who are taught to write. We want to write, even when we don’t have to.
There is room in the literary world for all types of writers. Every niche needs a spokesman to portray their ideas and perceptions. Though natural writers find themselves drawn to the art, it does not mean the educated writers cannot also be passionate. The differences between the two are in the structure of writing. Those with a higher education have a tendency to use words and sentence structures that natural writers may not. That does not mean it is inadequate or paled in comparison. Their education tends to show in their work.
There is nothing wrong with being educated. In fact, it is suggested that natural writers continue their education to hone their abilities and skills. In most cases however, an educated writer may produce works that seem to speak at you, rather than to you. Their structure and vocabulary may make it harder to follow and seem contrived. Passion often gets replaced with complicated rules and procedures that were taught. Educated writers have a tendency of leaving the page completely and pursuing other career paths, or taking a job in technical writing where their education is of better use.
Whether you are an educated writer, or a natural wordsmith, there are ways to find common ground. Educated writers can produce works that reach into their readers by leading with passion and following with education. Keeping your heart in the work first and your structure second can yield powerful pieces of literature. If you find yourself doubting your choice to be a writer, remember what drew you to the choice in the first place. Whether it was a novel you read as a child or the dream of signing your first best seller at the local bookstore, never lose track of your goal. Finding a compromise between passion and education is as important as the story you are trying to tell.
For those of us who write from a fiery passion within, there is more for us. Education can hone our natural abilities and bring our works to new heights. Formal education doesn’t automatically change how you write, but will give more options when expressing your heartfelt ideas on the page. If you have a love for writing then you have the willingness to be the best you can at it. Like a musician learning more about their instrument, you as a writer can fine tune your pen.
In the vast field of literature, there is a need for educated and natural writers. Like the sun needs the moon, the readers need both. No matter how your passion or want for writing was born, continue to explore your skills and your craft. Hone any of the areas you feel you’re lacking or bring yourself away from the textbook and back to the heart of writing. No matter what type of writer you are, you have chosen to use your words to inform, entertain, and inspire, continue to do so.