Years ago there was a correspondence course that promised to teach you how to write and earn money from your writing. If you hadn’t covered your fees by the end of the course they guaranteed to repay them.
Their adverts quoted satisfied customers and I was tempted to sign but lack of money and a certain cynicism stopped me. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had. Would I now be earning my living from my writing? Somehow I doubt it. Few writers make enough to live on, most of us have to supplement our income in other ways, mostly by the day job. If you’re really lucky you have a wealthy spouse or partner, but that’s for another blog.
What intrigues me, however, is what did that course teach. Is it possible to learn how to write? The nuts and bolts of the craft can be taught; that’s the stuff of what used to be called English Composition lessons at school, but what about imagination and creativity?
The ability, no the need, to look at and interpret life in a unique and different way. Above all a writer needs to have a passion for writing. It’s both a gift and a curse and something I think that comes from so deep inside that you are probably born with the need to tell stories. Either you have it, or you don’t. So how does a writing course make a writer?