We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Can anyone be taught to be a writer? I sort of doubt it, but anybody can learn to structure a coherent essay, and if that's interesting to read then that's a good start. Many lines of work require that. For writing, talent helps, so does IQ, curiosity, observational power, and wit.
I have always (like so many, because music is harder) aspired to be a fine writer, but I lack the talent. I can do simple declarative, mostly grammatical sentences, but that's all.
"Writing, he reminds us, is hard, and has always been so."
This article is simply a leftist diatribe against capitalism. The author wants young people to believe that "writing" can exist independently from life. It can't. The reason that so many kids can't write today is that they are afraid to say anything. It's much safer to remain silent; or to imagine a world which has no connection to reality. If kids felt free, and encouraged, they would write a lot. But they are afraid. So they mask their fear with cynicism.
So you want to be a writer? Thank capitalism, assuming you aren't from an aristocratic family who gained their fortune off the backs of the poor in Medieval times.
In the precapitalistic ages writing was an unremunerative art. Blacksmiths and shoemakers could make a living, but authors could not. Writing was a liberal art, a hobby, but not a profession. It was a noble pursuit of wealthy people, of kings, grandees and statesmen, of patricians and other gentlemen of independent means. It was practiced in spare time by bishops and monks, university teachers and soldiers. The penniless man whom an irresistible impulse prompted to write had first to secure some source of revenue other than authorship.
--Mises, Ludwig von (1956). The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality
…(commenting as a reader to authors) Writing is essentially oral storytelling set in words...consider if no one had ever read it, who would stay around if you just told the story. And read extensively - not just the "classics and best sellers " but the lesser books, and try to learn why you are excited by one of them. Or why you wish the author would either get to the point or end the book. Learn the use of language - I would recommend Winston Churchill's books (agree with content or not). He used exactly the right word to convey a precise shade of meaning...Finally, dogged daily writing produces drivel (do it, but do not publish)...mull your writing over in your mind till the sudden insight finally comes - as it will...and the words flow...
Ivan Doig was a kid from Montana. His original focus was in the journalistic style. Then he decided to write a story about what he knew--history of Montana and the stories of it's people. He did such a wonderful job with first two books (the first being breathtaking beautiful). Then his wife wanted to go to Seattle, which they did. He enrolled himself in an advanced writing program and ended up with a doctorate degree and along the way they beat the hell out of his gift. IMHO--it disappeared in the years he was studying how to be a writer!