You Don’t Need a Special Talent Than You Already Have to be a Great Writer

How you can excel as a writer even with moderate abilities

One of the greatest truths you’ll come to realize in any life course is that you, too, can become the best version of yourself. That you can get to that place where you know and are fully convinced that you are an authority, a thought leader, and in the top 5% in your category as a creative.

Some writers on Medium, like Anthony Moore, Tim Denning, Niklas Göke, sometimes refer to themselves as writers in the top 1% on Medium. And that’s the truth.

But can an average writer get there? The answer is yes. Then why is it that only a few writers climb that heigh?

Answer. The false belief that top writers are more talented than the rest of us.

” If only I can just be as talented, …”

Well, here’s the truth: you and I don’t need more talent or special talent to rise to the top in this field that’s chosen us. Even with a moderate ability for writing, you can climb your way up from there.

Talent Alone isn’t Enough; Without Work, Nothing Works.

This is where many of us get it wrong; we think talent does the work. Talent only reduces the friction in performing a task.

Some public speakers can deliver a keynote address without needing a note. Their brain already has an inbuilt structure for that. For that speaker, the task of ordering their thoughts on paper is already taken care of. That’s a step ahead of most speakers who have to structure their speech to meet the need of their audience.

In the same way, some writers already think in the same pattern as a well-structured article. Writing for them comes easier than the rest who have to intentionally give structure to their thoughts on paper.

But talent is not enough to be a great writer. Why? Talent doesn’t run itself; you have to prod it to action. Just the same way the toilet can’t wash be clean by itself, talents can’t write for anyone. All it does is to make the process easier. But you have to write something down to have a manuscript or a draft.

The Goodnews is, Your Effort Can Take You to Any Height Talent Can Take Anyone.

Sir Joshua Reynolds, an influential 18th-century British painter, warned his students at the Royal Academy that

“You must have no dependence on your genius. If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labour; nothing is to be obtained without it. Not to enter into metaphysical discussions on the nature or essence of genius, I will venture to assert, that assiduity unabated by difficulty, and a disposition eagerly directed to the object of its pursuit, will produce effects similar to those which some call the result of natural powers.”

That means that laziness accounts for more failure in any field than the lack of talent or special gifts for the task. What you lack in talent, you can make up in effort.

If you can settle down, accept your moderate ability to write, hone it by learning the basics of writing, observing how the great in your field do it, and put what you learn to work, I solemnly promise you, one day you will look up, down and by your side and see that you’re in the class of the top 1% in your category.

Consistency Will Make You A Winner

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

All said and done it’s the writer that refuses to quit that wins. Life rewards consistency with success. The average writer that refuses to quit today becomes a top writer tomorrow. For as in all creative endeavors, the secret to getting better is in the process. So focus on the process. Not the outcome. If anything, use outcomes as feedback.

Measure each day by the numbers of drafts you’ve written not the views or reads or comment or claps your stories have got.

So many writers have made a shipwreck of their career by making what’s outside their control a yardstick to measure their progress. The stat is not in your control so don’t rely on it or build your motivation around it. It won’t help as long as you have no control over it.

So be consistent. Focus on the process. You will get better, writing will become easy for you, and when that happens, the traffic will come. People will clap for your stories, send you mail on how you’ve transformed their lives through your writing and you will be among the very best in your category.

Final Thought

Talent is good but not exclusive to becoming a top writer.

“It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” — Robert Benchley.

You will get to the top in writing as in any chosen endeavor if you commit to doing the work of success on a daily basis — learning and doing what you have learnt from those that’s gone ahead of you.

Ready to level up?

Here’s an article that will take you a step higher in the ladder of making a good career in writing.

How You Can Have A Fruitful Career In Writing


  1. reminds me of a quote from President Calvin Coolidge: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

    Liked by 1 person

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