To sum up a note I recently received, I was asked whether writing is something that can be taught to anyone. The inquirer is a musician, who stated that he tries to imagine how he could teach music to another person. He mentioned that it feels like an intrinsic talent/passion to him, and wondered whether it's the same with writing. He said he's always loved to read, but he thinks that reading and writing are two completely different things.
I ask you this: Are appreciating music and making it so different? Or do they feed off one another? That's how I look at writing. I've become acutely aware of this recently, as I haven't been reading as much as I usually do lately. I can tell it's taken a toll on my drive to write, my creativity, my self-discipline, and even my vocabulary/ability to express myself. So while reading and writing are completely different, I do believe one must have a love of reading to truly be a great writer. Otherwise, one just comes off as self-absorbed, boring, vapid, banal. In my ever-so-humble opinion, that is. ;)
To answer your question about whether one can be taught to write... well, I suppose I'd have to say both yes and no. There are techniques; styles; mechanics; grammar; spelling; and formulas that can be taught. There are masters and mistresses of the craft of the word who can help a person find her or his own voice.
But I think it's more a question of whether a person WANTS to write, and whether that is how one chooses to express herself or himself. Some people have a creative force, or perhaps an idea that can't properly be expressed in any other way aside from explicit use of words. If that person, who is a medium for that idea or that creative force, chooses to discipline and dedicate himself or herself to the craft of writing, and to seek knowledge about how to improve her or his craft, then, yes. One can be taught to write.
But if a person does not give a flying F about expressing the self or the idea through words, then, no. One cannot be taught to write.
But now I've gone on long enough. What do you think?
PS - I don't always speak in such an erudite manner. I promise, dude. ;)
What are your thoughts, Reader?