Can creativity be only attributed to natural talent? Or can it be learnt later on in life?
When it is something as natural as writing, how much help can one get from doing a writing course?
I need some insight.
For me, writing isn’t something that I’ve suddenly discovered. It was there all along. But much, much before that, there was reading.
Correction – not reading, but listening to stories.
This is how it happened. When I was a child, my Mum had trouble putting me to sleep in the warm, sultry afternoons. So, she used to tell me a story every afternoon, following which, I’d doze off.
Soon, her stock of stories from memory ended. It was time for some story books. There was/still is this short-statured man, who used to go door to door selling story books for children – ghost stories, fairy tales, tales of Kings and Queens from history.
So, my Mum bought a bunch of them and she used to read them to me. Soon, all the stories were over. So she used to re-read them over and over again.
I knew all the stories by heart, even though I hadn’t started reading by then.
So, I used to take one book out, and read out stories to all my little friends – the book open on my lap, all the while, the pages being turned at the right places. This gave an impression that I knew how to read.
I was quite popular among friends.
Soon, there were new books and loads of other stories.
Mum grew very tired of reading to me, and said to me, “If you want to read any more stories, you better learn how to read”.
So, this was how I started to learn to read – not English, but my native tongue, Bangla.
This was much before I started school.
When I look back now, I can put down my reading habits and interest in literature to that old childhood ritual of bedtime stories.
Writing, however was always in my set of skills. I enjoyed writing answers in English literature and Social Studies.
But, then I started writing officially on this blog. The start date was November 26th, 2011.
Till date, that is the best thing that has happened to me. I simply enjoy reading blogs and writing, at any hour, any place, any time.
So, slowly now, I am beginning to think of furthering my interests. I am trying to test my skills a bit more.
I am trying to figure out, if I’m that good enough for a career in writing.
It feels so absolutely thrilling. This is not what I had started out to do. This was never in my career plans. Never.
It’s an uncharted path and I’m excited for myself, and about how I’ll turn out to be, at the end of this.
However, I will be honest with you. I don’t have a lot of experience of reading Classic authors.
I’m majoring in Mathematics right now, so you see, it’s totally a different field I’m opting for.
I haven’t read Shakespeare extensively. I do not know the various genres of writing. I feel very much like starting out at the base of a mountain. I want to reach the summit. Someday.
I am intimated. But I don’t give up easy. To aid the process, I’ve decided to pursue a diploma in creative writing, you know, just to learn about the technicalities of writing.
This brings me to the fundamental question of this post – Can writing be taught? Can creativity be taught? Or is it really a god-gifted talent?