Writing versus drawing

It’s no secret that I really wish I could draw so that I could start up a webcomic. I suppose I could say the hell with it and start one anyways and my drawing skills would improve over time, right?

Well, that got me to thinking about the age old debate of if writing can be taught. Obviously it can be because otherwise written language wouldn’t exist. But what about creative writing? Can you teach someone to write? Can you teach someone to draw?

Well, that I’ve always been sure you can’t. I’m of the camp that if you can’t draw you can’t draw and that’s the end of it. But is that true with writing too? I’ve always believed that the more you write, the better you’ll get, and that classes will improve your writing.

So now I’m pondering if that is also the case with drawing. Surely if you draw everyday you have to improve, right? I think there will be improvement over time, but I also think that there is an innate ability that can’t be taught.

I think writing is similar, but I know that effort and practicing everyday can sometimes overcome that lack of original innate ability. It’s all very confusing and curious to me. How much of a creative ability is taught and how much is innate?

So what do you think? How different are writing and drawing?


  1. I hear what you are saying. I used to think that ANYONE could learn to write or draw if they just tried and practiced hard enough. And I still hold this to be somewhat true. But some people try and try and never get any better at either. This isn’t because they aren’t trying as hard as they can. They are really putting their best effort into their work. I think it has more to do with that innate ability you mentioned. For some people it flows naturally. For others it’s a difficult path that may be more trouble than it’s worth.

    • Also, I am not sure if there is a discernible difference between writing and drawing or the learning of each. They both involve ideas and conveying those ideas to an audience. Most people are probably drawn to the one that comes easier to them.

  2. Craig Hallam Said:

    You raise an intetest nature/nurture question. I reckon both can be taught but only those with an innate ability truly excel. so, maybe a mixture of the two, then? I know I do both writing and drawing to varying degrees of success 🙂

  3. Laura Said:

    Well, I’ve always thought that you can’t teach talent, but you can teach skill. Example: 5th grade art class (lol). Before that, I couldn’t draw faces, perspective, etc. But I learned to draw and got better with practice over the years. Even the old masters studied with someone before becoming, you know, old masters. Why would there be art classes, art colleges, and improve-your-drawing-skills books if it couldn’t be taught? 🙂

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