Been having an interesting discussion on muses on a couple of my lists. Since I just posted about my muse, I thought this a funny coincidence. What I also think is funny is how passionate people are against the whole muse concept. "Writer's use it as an excuse," is on opinion. Another is that "we need to look at writing as a job." Okay, I get that, but personally, I have never met a writer who used the muse as an excuse not to write. At least not a real writer. I don't take my muse seriously... My muse is simply what I call getting into the zone. The inspired part of writing creatively. She is another part of me. Sometimes I get into the zone, other times I don't. When I am in the zone, the writing is easy and seems to flow... that is what I call my muse helping me. When I'm not, I still write, it's just more difficult. And something came up during these conversations... someone said, "anyone can be a writer."
So can anyone be a writer? I think this concept comes from a society that tells our children that they can be anything they want to be. Anything they set their mind to. There are people who believe that children are born blank. Clean slates. What is this? A leftover from Roussou? (sorry, I know I slaughtered his name, but am too lazy to go look it up) That children are born naturally good and the world corrupts them?
I don't buy it. Children are born with personalities. I know. I had two. Not enough for a clinical trial, but there you go. I do believe that environment helps to mold them.. for instance, fisher boy can be aggressive, defiant, and contentious. In a different, less stable home, he would probably be more of those things. In a more patient home, he might be less, but they would never completely go away, because that rebellious trait is a part of who he is. ( I know, he got it from his mommy:) genetics do play a part in who we are.
So, if we are all born with certain personality traits, it isn't a far stretch to believe we are all born with certain aptitudes. Of course, not everyone finds out what that aptitude is, but I think we all have them. Different types of intelligence. Different perceptions on our world. So can anyone be president? I don't think so. Being a polititian requires certain personality traits, such as intuition, a love of being with people all the time, and the ability to think quickly on your feet(okay, no GW jokes here! LOL) Not everyone has or can develop those traits... even if they wanted to. Now, I think desire goes a long ways, but I don't think desire alone can change someone into someting they are not.
So can anyone be a writer? I don't think so. What does it take to be a writer? Love of words, of course, the ability to be your own boss, the ability to self motivate, the ability to live with no guarantees, (a huge stumbling block for a lot of people) the ability to take rejection, the ability to be alone a good deal of the time and of course, the ability to write in a clear and cohesive manner. I actually think that the ability to communicate by writing is the easiest of those to learn if you wanted to be a writer. Set rules, guidelines, etc. The imagination to come up with a well thought out plot, is a different thing. Some people have little or no imaginations.
So, no, I don't think that just anyone can be a writer. Just like I could never be a mathmatician... even if I wanted to, which I don't.
What do you think? Can anyone be a writer?