Every writer has something – some part of writing, however tiny – that comes easily (or at least, more easily than the rest of it). For some it’s action scenes; for others, it’s deep characterization; for others it’s plot or dialog or structure or theme. But there’s always something.
What this means is that, for the first couple of stories or novels or X-many-thousand words, one can safely ignore the freebie and concentrate on learning all the other stuff that one didn’t get for free. More than that – in my experience, what one gets for free comes so easily and naturally that “ignoring it” is too strong a phrase. It’s like saying a fish ignores water, or that people ignore air.
But sooner or later, if they keep working at their craft, every writer hits a point where they can’t just coast on natural talent in that area any more. Suddenly they have to work at it. The easier and more natural it was, the bigger the shock when it becomes obvious that from here on, it’s going to take work to do this bit…and the harder it is to figure out techniques and tricks for doing what they’ve never had to think about before. Like the centipede trying to figure out which leg to move first.
If you’re lucky, you will have realized what the thing is that you got for free long before you get to the point where you have to start working on it. That gives you the chance to start thinking about what you’re doing, instead of doing it all by instinct, so that it isn’t such a shock when you get to the need-to-work-at-it point. (Of course, some folks don’t t think about it even then, and so they get hit by the semi-trailer truck anyway.)
The corollary to this idea, of course, is that every writer has something that for them is really, really hard to do. But I think that’s a different post.