It’s the same with writing as it is with breathing: all of us can breathe but not everyone can run a marathon in less than two hours. The ones that can, the athletes have worked out, practiced, learned, and they never stopped, although they had about a hundred reasons to stop running throughout the years.
As far as I know, you can’t earn a lot of money running marathons either, but you could catch a cold or break your toe, sprain your ankle, getting bored, or it could rain, or it could be too cold or too hot, or you could fall in love or get lost on your way to the finish.
But marathon runners never stop, because it’s their passion.
If you get the impression my hobby is running marathons, I can assure you the only thing I run in less than two hours is the distance to the fridge.
What about you and language?
That is your raw material that you work with as a writer.
Are you writing good essays in school? If you are, that’s great, but definitely not a requirement to be an author. Einstein got a C in Math. I got a D in language. To be exact, from 5th grade on I only got Ds in language. Didn't matter what teacher, what year:
The chances of getting only Ds over that time span and range of teachers is something even Einstein couldn’t have calculated.
That’s how I got through school.
Did that stop me from educating myself?
Did it discourage me?
No, not at all. Because I was passionate about my writing.
Did I feel frustrated, overlooked and not appreciated?
Let’s not fool ourselves: an essay is not a novel. Thus, how can you work on your writing, your style?
Reading helps a lot, with your eyes wide open! I know—the technique of reading with your eyes open probably doesn’t strike you as new. But what I mean is to pay attention to the lines, in detail. Don’t worry, I won’t start to explain main and subordinate clauses. That’s what your English teacher gets paid for.
Just check out how the sentences in your favorite novel are put together and how they change, roll—their rhythm.
Read good things! Do I have to say that?
What is good?
Well, anything you enjoy reading! If you find out after three or five pages that the story isn't your thing, then put it away. Don’t waste your time.
There are so many fantastic stories and styles of writing that you don’t need to read irrelevant stuff to the end. They don’t get any better from there. Here is experience talking.
And if you don’t have a new book then read one you like for a second time. Very satisfying, and a great learning curve.
I focus on being able to know the authors and the rhythm of their writings, their techniques. Why do I love that author and how he or she writes? I wanted to find it out. I had to understand differences between their pages and mine.
And I did. (please read next post)