You aren't talented.
But neither is anyone else when they first begin.
The most common thing I hear when I tell people I'm an author is, "I wanted to write, but I had no talent." And to that I say: of course you didn't. Talent takes time, energy, sacrifice, motivation. You have to earn it.
Let me give you my formula for talent:
Hard work / long period of time * (consistency) = talent
You need to work hard over a long period of time consistently to get talent.
"But there was a four-year-old on AGT last week that can sing Italian operas," you might say.
Yes, that child is gifted. God gave them a special ability, and you don't get a say in that one. But you can, however, recognize your own design and put in the work to be an epic writing rockstar.
I don't care if you're 7 years old or 70. You can become a talented writer. Here's how.
1 - Schedule Time to Write
You learned how to schedule time to go to the gym, so now learn how to schedule time to write. Writing is also a series of muscles that need to be stretched, worked, and pushed until failure.
Choose a set time - just ten to fifteen minutes a day - to write something. Decide on your topic the day before. Why? 1, you can spend hours looking at writing prompts and then never actually start. Avoid that. 2, it gives your subconscious time to weave something together in between. (Yes, your subconscious has a major play in your writing. I'll tell you about it sometime.)
When you're just starting out, write about daily things: your room, your neighborhood, your family. Progress into describing places you've been to on vacation and special memories of your family. Write from prompts you find on Pinterest, or download my workbooks from my How to Write a Sentence series for writing prompts and exercises.
2 - Take a Class
This is without a doubt the fastest way to get better. Not only do writing classes give you a professional mentor to point out your strengths and weaknesses, but it also gives you a gaggle of people who have the same goal as you: to write better. You'll learn from them, and they'll learn from you. Yes, you'll be a beginner when you take your first class. You might be the most inexperienced person there. But remember it's better to have someone say you suck in the beginning than tell you that you suck after you've published.
3 - Exchange Comparison for Competition
Still worried about looking stupid while taking a class? Let me tell you a story.
I started taking Kpop dance classes for the first time when I was 34 years old. I went to a dance academy while I lived in Daegu, South Korea and I was the only foreigner in my class. I didn't speak the language, everyone in my class was at least ten years younger than me, I had absolutely no rhythm. Being the oldest and most inexperienced, however, made me super competitive. I was determined not to make a fool of myself. I was going to be just as good as everyone else.
That mindset made me practice for twenty minutes a day. Sometimes an hour a day. Even though my timing was bad and everyone could learn the choreography faster than me, by the time I left the class a year and a half later, the other students were applauding my skills. (You can check out my full year of kpop lessons on my YouTube channel.)
If you're going to compare yourself to the pros - which we do - make the pros your competition. Study them. Learn from them. Or at the very least, do your best to keep up. If you fail? No problem. Get them in the next round. Just don't stop swinging.
4 - Read. Read. Read.
If you want to be a writer, you need to read. Yes, the internet gives us access to audiobooks, online classes, tutorials, tips, etc, etc, etc... but if you want to be a writer, you need to look at the WRITTEN word as much as possible. Read books in your genre. Read books opposite of your genre. Read fiction. Read nonfiction. Read books on how to be a better writer. Read books on how to read books. Shove as many words in your face as possible on a daily basis.
Want some recommendations? Check out my favorite books on my main website.
What is your major writing goal for 2022? Write it down in the comments and stick to it!
Check out my corresponding video, IS WRITING A GIFT OR SKILL here: