Something I’ve always found interesting in the writing world is the two schools of thought regarding whether or not writing skills can be taught. Many well regarded writers have famously bashed creative writing courses, claiming that writing as a creative medium can’t be taught unless a person has some modicum of natural talent, whereas I know from experience through my time as a Creative Writing student that there are writers and tutors out there who believe most people are capable of learning to write well.
This got me thinking about whether or not creativity in general can be taught, or whether it’s just a natural thing that some people have and some don’t. I would consider myself a fairly creative person based on my interests, yet why do I find writing so natural whilst my attempts at learning photography have been a slower, more gradual process? I have also tried my hand at different arts and crafts in the past, and have designed and created bookmarks which I sell through Etsy, but I wouldn’t describe myself as a natural artist, and similarly I have tried and failed to learn numerous musical instruments. Despite my attempts at different creative pursuits writing is the only one that I would describe myself as having any natural talent at, so does that mean I can’t learn others?
Personally, whilst I believe anyone who puts enough time and effort into learning a creative pursuit could achieve a certain amount of skill, I believe there will always be some people who will just be better at it. If a naturally talented writer and a not so naturally talented writer both put in the same amount of work, the naturally talented writer will in my opinion end up more skilled and the better writer.
However, just wanting to create is in my opinion enough to make someone a creative person, no matter what skill level they are at. However good or bad you are at writing or painting or playing a musical instrument just having the will to try it and to experiment (a vital part of creativity) means you’re open to being creative.
But what do you think? Can creative pursuits be taught, or do you have to a least have some natural talent to begin with? And how would you define a ‘creative person’?