From the sometimes stable mind of Earl Staggs.
Remember those "Paint by Number" kits from years ago? Anyone could pick up the brush, put the right color in the right space and produce something called a painting. But would it be a work of art? Not likely.
A lot of people learn the basics of writing and write by the numbers. They may take one writing class after another, try one genre after another, one formula after another, and reach a point where they can string words together and tell a story. But can they turn out truly good writing?
Two people can tell the same joke. One will leave an audience rolling on the floor in laughter, one will leave them yawning. People will sigh and say, “Some can tell 'em, some can't.” Call it talent, call it a gift, call it a knack. You either have it or you don't.
Spencer Tracy, legendary actor with a wry sense of humor, used to say when asked how to be an actor, "Learn your lines. When the director yells ‘Action,’ say them and don't bump into the furniture."
Just as anyone can learn the basics and be a writer, anyone can do that and be an actor. There's no mistaking, however, those actors with genuine and immense talent. Every once in a while, as an example, a Meryl Streep comes along. For her, the furniture moves out of the way.
I think it's the same with writing. Anyone can learn what it takes be called a writer, but to leave readers in tears, rapture, rage or rolling on the floor with laughter, you have to have a special something. It comes in your DNA, and you either have it or you don't.
While anyone can learn the basics and produce acceptable writing, when truly gifted writers sit down to write, the best words, characters and plots come calling, and no one bumps into the furniture.
For what it's worth, from Fort Worth.