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Question of the Week: Writing 20 April 2008

Posted by SA'ILA in SA'ILA.

What makes one a great writer?

Is it a talent granted by Allah (swt) to particular individuals regardless of their age? Or is writing a learned art (why all the creative writing courses – and degrees?)



1. Anonymous - 20 April 2008

Learned art.

2. ABD - 20 April 2008

i don’t think you can be a great anything unless you’re born with the talent, but i think the combination of learning, practice and life experience can do more to make a good writer than perhaps any other artist.

3. MOZAFFAR - 20 April 2008


whatever abusharif is/did.

omer m

4. Mas'ud Ahmed Khan - 20 April 2008

They say that everyone has a book in them. Certainly creative thinking is part of the deal, you need to have a creative mind and I think everyone has this potential. You just need an idea to unlock the potential!

5. Ibrahim A. - 20 April 2008

The check’s in the mail, Omer. And you got pen, bro. (So, jzk.) Anything great requires authenticity and truthfulness. No tricks, gimmicks, self-conscious prose, or saccharine. Fiction or non, it comes down to this. Read Brenda Ueland … once every other year, if not every year: “If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence, and Spirit.” It’s published by Graywolf Press.


6. UmmFarouq - 21 April 2008

Thanks for the book tip, Br. Ibrahim.

I am content (right now) as an observer, reader, listener, but not forever, I hope. That writer in me wants to be born.

7. Baraka - 22 April 2008

The Edison quote about success (10% inspiration/90% perspiration) applies well to writing. There is a God-given talent, but how disciplined one is about reading, reflecting, and writing to hone that art makes all the difference.

8. Baraka - 23 April 2008

Also, related.

9. talib - 24 April 2008

well, obviously, even if writing were a “learned art,” it would still be granted by Allah ta`ala. but then, why is there a dichotomy between what we are endowed with from birth and what we “learn”? if all knowledge is granted by Allah, then does it make sense to talk about the process of learning, whatever that entails, as a means to knowledge, at all? i don’t know if this is an issue and i haven’t thought about in full. but i guess i am just raising points in true Sa`ila (and ABD) style :)

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