My loving husband showed me his undying affection yesterday by buying me a gun. It’s a 10/22 Ruger, second-hand, with enough gunpowder residue hiding under the bolt to make me wonder if it has ever been cleaned. Believe it or not, I’ve wanted this gun ever since I found out it could hold a 50 round drum, vs. my .22 bolt action, which I love to shoot, but don’t love to load.

What does this have to do with writing? Well, when he bought me the rifle, he also bought me a scope. And the scope my friend, is not dialed in. This means that when I shoot at the target with my 10/22…I don’t hit the target. We spent all yesterday at the range, shooting endlessly, trying to get it accurate. It now more or less hits the target, and we both agree it needs to go see a gunsmith.

Being the writer that I am, I couldn’t help but compare this to how we authors learn how to write. We hear a lot of complaints in the writing world about writer’s block, and how to deal with it, and I’ve never heard of a single writer on earth who got tired of reading a pro rehash his writing schedule for the umpteen thousandth time.

Why is that?

Well, as my husband was looking through the spotting scope, yelling things like “A little to the left,” and “higher” and seeing his hand reach over every once in awhile to adjust the dial, I realized…that’s why.

I think there is a writer in everybody. I think we all have an equal chance of making it to the bestseller list. The difference between those who have writer’s block, and those who don’t, isn’t how much talent you have, it’s how dialed in you are to that talent. We do writing exercises, try new genres, take new classes, not so much to improve the talent that is already there, but to see if that brings us closer to being the writer that we are.

We’ll never be Nora Roberts, or Stephen King, because that’s not necessarily how we focus. We can be that good, but only if we stop mimicking the greats, and start teasing out what writing style makes us great in our own right.

Anyway, that’s my two cents for the day. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and how you’re coming along in dialing in your writing scope.