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Old 09-21-2013, 04:06 PM
jonparov (Offline)
I Am My Own Master
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I'm not sure I truly believe in the innate talent argument, I think in the end it comes down to: A)Experience, and B)Education.

Experience not just in life, but also in what you have read and been influenced by - most importantly if you have learned to reflect intelligently on those experiences.

Tolstoy, for example, was said to be: "both unable and unwilling to learn". But in early life he ran up gambling debts, joined the army, travelled around europe - witnessing a public execution in france, slept around, conversed with some of the great thinkers and writers of his time, established 13 schools, and generally led an interesting life. All of which he clearly reflected deeply upon.

Recently I researched the backgrounds to some of the Booker prize winning authors, and others from the past who are highly regarded. Most, if not all, had either a higher education (the top degrees appear to be English, History, and philosophy) or intense life experiences, sometimes both.

In the end it comes down to having something to say, and knowing how to say it (and why you want to say it that way, as opposed to another - I believe Dostoyevsky wrote Crime and Punishment three times, once first person, once third, and once in a journal or epistolary style before he settled on the final draft).

Cheers,
J.
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