Born to write?

so what happens when you aren’t..

Aft Ashes
4 min readMay 11, 2021
Photo by kaushal mishra on Unsplash because babies are cute aren’t they? Love the ears. Is that an elf? Or a rabbit?

I don’t belive people are born to write. Tessa does. Let’s talk about that.

Does that mean you’re not worthy to communicate with others (with the written word)? To not even try?

Have you not heard of voice typing? It’s a thing these days. So an inability to spell gud or type weel should no longer be a barrier to writing.

But it was great to talk to Tessa about her view on where the skill of writing comes from, her view that it’s something you’re born with. Because if I wasn’t willing to engage with ideas from others then I’d be over on Facebook (building my echo chamber).

She also raised the challenge facing most of the writers on Medium, that people who want to do it for a living will really struggle financially. Writing sucks in terms of pay checks.

Here’s Tessa’s response for the full details

Which was in response to the original position I put forward here:

The key comment for me in her response was:

“I never went to school to learn to write. I learnt basic literacy. That is all. Same as everyone else.”

said Tessa

Same as everyone else?

Um. I think you’ve missed my point then. Here’s everyone else:

But that’s just numbers.

I’m pointing out that not everyone got/gets to go to school, let alone for long enough to become literate.

For Example

The best example for me was an impressive Cambodian I met whilst travelling who was a conscripted child soldier in the Khmer Rouge during the time of life they should have been in school.

They had no opportunity to learn writing in their own language, let alone English, until the war was over (ish) and they were about 18 by then.

They now speak 5 languages and write in at least three (me only one to my disgrace).

I would not like to so easily dismiss either their opinions, or their stories, just because they were not given the opportunity to learn to write by the time they were ten.

In fact for almost all my encounters with people from underprivileged nations I am impressed with how hard they work catching up on their literacy and learning to write and share their views and experiences.

It’s usually some time in their twenties or later when they finally have access.

And that was kinda the point of the article title. “The Privilege of Education.”


Oh, unless of course you were homeschooled? But then you must have had parents who could read and write, right?

The other point was gatekeeping. Which you’re clearly committed to doing on this one.

Now it’s only fair that I acknowledge my own bias. I’ll give you a hint as to why your position pushed my buttons and got a full article (two now) in response:

Having “ experts” tell you your child is never going to talk sucked (i.e. Autism, not Aspergers). But the good news is that after a bunch of hard work they’ve been proven wrong.

And dyslexia sucks too. It’s something many are born with, it doesn’t/shouldn’t stop them writing “useful” stuff.

Oh and you might want to go read some of the other responses to your article. I’m not the only one to point out the fallacies of your position that people are “born to write”.

But at least I’m clear you weren’t trolling — you really really do believe that you were special, uniquely gifted with the ability to write.

Unlike many others.

Too Old!

Your position is a bit like me saying you’re “too old” to write on Medium. The technology will make it way too hard for you, besides, why are you bothering with it at “your age”.

Go back to your typewriter.

Can you see the problem with what you’ve said when I flip it?

And of course I don’t believe you are ever too old (or too young), or too intrinsically bad at writing, to write, just in case you missed it.

I’ve got blindspots and bias of my own. This one was just way to easy to spot and is a problem, if it’s left unopposed.

Because you’re never to old to change. (No, wait, that was ageist wasn’t it)


Me? I’ve gotta work at it. Practise everyday. Really stop and think. Go over my words repeatedly.. Talk to people and ask what they think. Get proof read.

And yet isn’t it interesting just how quickly I was able to get up a response article.

Thank you for that.

And I do appreciate that you read your responses.

Love Aft



Aft Ashes

Arise! Ashes, Arise! Talking about starting again — just like Frankenstein’s monster!