Do you think creative writing courses are a waste of time? Are the writers born with a talent to create stories? Do they need an inborn talent in writing? Yesterday I came across an article authored by Alison Flood on the online edition of The Guardian newspaper that was dated 4th of March 2014; where it reads as “The creative writing courses are a waste of time.” This was an opinion came out from a man of letters, none other than an award won author of the book, The Buddha of Suburbia, and even more a professor appointed for teaching creative writing at Kingston University, Mr.Hanif Kureishi. I got an interest in the topic as I am currently enrolled for a creative writing course from the Writers Bureau, u.k.
According to his opinions, it can be concluded that students can’t be made to tell a story as it is a great skill someone should have. He added that the students are wasting money on such courses and making not much progress out of it.
While going through the article, it can be seen that another novelist and former creative writing teacher Lucy Ellman partially agreeing with his opinions. The author of the article, Alison Flood pointed out one statement from Lucy Ellman where she said “What you should really be doing is reading as much good literature as you can get your hands on, for years and years, rather than wasting half your university life writing stuff you’re not ready to write.”
Another famous novelist Matt Haig contradicted Kureishi’s statement citing the example of music lessons. Music lessons will definitely improve the skills of someone studying music. Likewise, even if writing skills are partly instinct and partly craft, the craft part is the one that can be teachable.
I agree with the arguments of Lucy Ellman and Matt Haig to a certain extent. We cannot say that someone who has talent in music should not go to a music class. Similarly, how it be possible for anyone to master a musical instrument without attending any course?
It is our common knowledge that music, painting, craft, sculpture, etc. are like literature pertaining to the field of aesthetics, the sense of which is guided by inborn talent. Like music, no man of letters cannot have good command in a language without learning the alphabets. There are no famous painters and artists who never had any learning from the feet of a master.
Some of you may have the physique needed for a basketball player but if you do not practice playing it, you can’t be a player. Here your height may be a positive factor that you got by birth while your skills are developed through years of hard work and determination to succeed. Remember you may not be able to become a great basketball player if you happened to be someone with a height of just four feet. Similarly you may need some inborn abilities or nature to be a good story teller.
Even if you have that much-needed instinct to write,I strongly believe in the following three factors that are crucial for anyone to develop the writing skills.
# Constant reading of quality contents related to your subject you wish to write about. If you are a writer interested in publishing your own novel, you should definitely be reading books related to your area or storytelling.
# You should stick to a plan of regularly writing. It is human tendency to postpone things to be done for tomorrow. If you keep on postponing your daily writing tasks every day, your chances of becoming a published author will happen only in your dreams.
# This third and most important thing to be done is improving your skills constantly. Imagine you have a so-called inborn instinct to write. You are reading a lot of books of your choice or quality contents from the internet, but not taking any interest in constantly improving your skills. I bet you are not going to improve your skills unless you make a constant effort to improve it by analysing your mistakes. Here lies the importance of creative writing courses using which you can polish your skills.
The entire scenario of writing has changed now. Remember your parents made their successful careers without the help of Google. They spend their time in libraries searching for knowledge. Now every information is on your finger tip. The current generation follows a different perspective towards writing with the emergence of blogging as a self-publishing platform. With respect to the current trends in writing, I would like to know your opinion whether the writers are born or made? Do you believe story telling skills are something like a music skill where people are born with the talent to sing? Do these creative writing courses are worthy to make good writers?
Dear friends, I would really like to know your thoughts on the above three questions. Please find some time to answer my questions through the comments column. I am waiting for your comments. Thank you. Have a great blogging journey.
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