In the last 2 weeks I have received a few emails about my writing style (good stuff). Hmmm! do I even have a style ? Am not sure, most times its rambling, sometimes ranting. Secretly I was very happy, and read the mails many times. Almost felt I had won the Oscars ! But the fact is, I don't know how to write prose...I did write poems when I was in high school and one day I might even share one of them, i.e if I get brave. For sometime, I thought, no one reads what I write, they just ogle at the pictures and read the recipe...well am glad I am wrong.
This whole conversation about writing, led me to start reading a bit about writing and all the talk about 'having a voice' specially in an age where there is so much noise and chatter. Like you, I want to be heard and I don't want my voice lost or engulfed in the noise. Nothing like being differentiated for quality of your content.
That led me to think, is it all about the right brain being more imaginative ... " Is writing an art that you can nurture or is it an acquired skill ?"
So I asked some of my blogger/non-blogger friends what they thought about writing and specifically creative writing. Here is what some of them had to say .... oh! before that, my thoughts " you are born with the talent and can nurture it to some extent"
Monica Bhide "Hey.. tough question. I teach people the technical side of writing and I think this helps them write better. But at the heart of it, writing is an art. And I don't think that can be taught. It comes from somewhere instead. It is the reason why you gravitate towards the writing of one writer versus another.
The technical skills can be taught and so perhaps you can teach someone to write but I don't think you can teach someone to be a writer.. if that makes sense. The art comes from within."
Dawn Legier - "Such a great question, Simi. I had to think about it for awhile. In my (uneducated) opinion, it depends on the type of writing. For creative writing, I would lean more toward art and natural ability that can be nurtured and improved; while I think technical writing (instructions, procedure manuals, etc.) can be taught. Does that make sense?"
Bart Luczak - "In my opinion it's an inborn thing, of course you can acquire and learn how to write better with time, but for talented individuals it comes sort of naturally...well dunno just my humble opinion..."
Marc Hurwitz - "Good question: I believe that writing is both--much like music, you can get better at it with practice, but the really good writers have that certain innate gift, in my opinion.
Thanks for getting in touch about this!"
Sudha Rao - "Interesting question. ... When it comes to being creative, narrative and descriptive writing.. It's something one has it in their blood but can learn from different channels to hone the skill and improve the art of writing. The rest yes... You can acquire ... (it)"
Nivedita Sharma - "I guess it is a gift but you can hone and nurture it"
My findings - creative art (writing) needs a seed and you are born with it and unless you nurture it, it does not go anywhere. Grammar is a big put off for many readers and thankfully I have grammar police at home and some of us do need to buy Wren and Martin. But...the catch, you might have the perfect grammar but boring content, no one is going to read it. Well seems obvious but apparently not ! Never over use your adjectives or your adverbs ....hmmm I think I have been guilty of using hmm over using ! Be conversational and don't have 8-10 posts in a week....it is a turn off, (I did not know that). My thoughts now "you are born with it, but you hone most of it " If a few hours can give me this much insight and learning, imagine if I put some effort. Just be yourself, write with your heart not your head. And yes this is not the time for the philosophical question " who am I ?"I do hope this post will help some of us ( me included) get out of our shell and write/share more. For those of you blessed with the gift of the gab ( in this case the gift of the pen), do share with us some tips and secrets :)
Am tempted to post this without a recipe, but then I don't want you to tell me that I invited you over and had nothing more to offer than "words" So here is some baked jalapeño and tomatoes and don't, just don't forget to let me know your thoughts....not about the jalapeño ( I know it's good) ...about your thoughts on writing, For some reason if you do not want to share it on the blog, email me - email@example.com.
Thanks to all of you who responded to my question and took the effort in communicating your thoughts.
5-6 tomatoes de seeded and halved
5-6 jalapeño de seeded and halved
1 1/2 cup of panko (bread crumbs)
a small piece of home made crumbled paneer
2 tbsp of finely chopped cilantro
2 tbsp of mint - coriander/cilantro chutney
1/4 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 tsp garam masala or chaat masala (scroll down to see recipe of chaat masala)
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
some pepper jack cheese or monterey jack cheese (optional)
Mix panko with paneer, cilantro, chutney, garlic and the spice blend. Keep aside.
preheat over to 300 F
Brush the de seeded tomatoes and jalapeño with oil. Fill them with the panko masala. Cover with a piece of cheese, I just covered the jalapeño not the tomatoes. It is optional.
Bake for 8-10 min, remove the tomatoes and bake the jalapeño for 5 more min.
Serve hot, with you favorite cocktail or just garam chai ( hot indian tea)
Note : jalapeños are hot...make sure to wash your hands after you de seed them
Not everyone is born to write best sellers but we are all born to express ourselves ....if we can talk, we can write...!!