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The article reads:
"[A] common complaint is that NaNoWriMo devalues writers' talent by indulging the cliche that everyone has the potential to be a great writer if only they'd sit themselves down and actually write. 'NaNoWriMo relies on the peculiarly American belief that every person has a story—or a novel, or a book of any kind—inside...' the Economist's Prospero blog once sneered. 'There is no analogous drive to write the Great French Novel, or the English, or the German. They very notion that a novel is in everybody's grasp, and could be knocked out as a draft in just a month, is far more likely to induce some cringing in other countries.'" (Read the full article here).The thing is, I really do believe that with enough practice, dedication and determination anyone can become a great writer. We writers aren't born with some magical ability to write exponentially better than everyone else—we don't come out of the womb with full knowledge of the English language and how to write beautiful images and compelling stories. We learn how to write like everyone else—starting with our names in preschool and moving on from there. I reject the idea that in order to be great at something you have to be born with some magical fairy dust that makes you extra talented in a certain field—writing included.
The difference between writers and everyone else isn't that we're born with a supernatural ability to write well—it's that we love to write. The difference between writers and everyone else is that we do spend the extra time needed to hone the craft of writing and learn how to tell stories people want to read. Not everyone wants to be a writer, and not everyone who thinks they want to be a writer loves it enough to stick with it until they're skilled enough to reach a level of successful publication. I believe that anyone can become a great writer, but not everyone will reach that level—or even attempt to, for that matter.
In my mind, NaNoWriMo doesn't devalue writers—it empowers them. It gives writers who are afraid of writing something terrible, of failing halfway through, of not writing well enough to give it a try and write anyway. It reminds writers around the world that we are not alone—that there are hundreds of thousands of other writers out there who are experiencing the same difficulties and frustrations that come hand-in-hand with attempting to become a writer.
At least, that's my opinion. Now I want to hear yours.
What do you think? Can anyone become a writer, or do writers have something that others don't? Does NaNoWriMo devalue writers, or does it empower them?