I just finished reading a wonderful blog by Dean Wesley Smith on Talent, and the lack of existence of such a thing. You really should read it if you're writing at any stage of the game.

I have to say I both agree and disagree, as I believe that some people are more inherantly designed (through genetics) to excel in areas over their peers at a given time, place, or in a given career/job/sport/hobby. Case in point, myself -- I can hardly balance a checking account let alone do long division in my head or think in algebra. Fractions? Laugh. Yeah right. If it's beyond the simple metrics required for the kitchen, it simply ain't gonna happen.

Words, letters, languages, and anything along those subjects, have always been an area that felt like second skin.

Which leads back to the classic divisions of "left-brained" versus "right-brained." And I don't suppose that has a lot to do with his discussion on talent, because that's more aptitude than anything else.

What I want to get to is the discussion of SKILL. And how skill is directly related to the level of training put into an area, whether that area is in your comfort zone or not.

Everyone (yes everyone) has the ability to write and write well. Whether they do depends on two factors, and two factors alone:
a) the desire to do so
b) the desire to train

Note that I said "train" not practice. Let's look at this compared to say playing the clarinet. For those of you who've played any reed instrument you know very well what that nerve-grating squeak-honk noise is. When you pick up the instrument for the first time your almost invariably going to squeak several times. You move beyond the squeak by mastering the correct mouth position and adjusting airflow.

If you practice the incorrect positioning you'll never get beyond the squeak. If you train the muscles to form correctly around the mouthpiece and train the airflow, the squeak goes away.

This goes back to my constant position on writing -- it is like any other job or artform or sport. Regardless of any specific measure of success, success will only be achieved if the person trains.

It isn't about inherant skill or aptitude. It isn't about a natural ability to throw words together. It isn't about being gifted in storytelling, or being left-right brained. It is combining the desire to write with the necessary work to achieve the goal.

You want to be partner at a law firm? You put in the hours, the caseload, the schooling necessary to achieve the goal.

You want to win a gold medal at the Olympics? You put in the hours of training, studying, and obtain the right equipment to achieve the goal.

You want to fly an airplane, sail a boat, or learn how to fence? You put in the training.

If you want to write, you commit yourself to the desire and necessary training required to achieve the goal.

I too have been called "lucky", and been told I was in the "right place at the right time" and that this comes to me "naturally."

WRONG. Want the proof? Look at my earliest creations. The simple truths are:
1. I've been "writing" for a long time, simply because I enjoyed passing my time that way.
2. When I decided that I wanted to make a career out of my hobby, I committed to the goal.
3. I threw myself into writing and approached it the same way I would approach a 40+ hour a week job. Strict schedules, learning about my "competition", training my brain to adapt and use the craft I learned, picking every mind more knowledgeable than my own so I could understand the field.

I was published the year I joined RWA, not because I had some inborn gift, but because there was no other option for me and I was committed to the goal. I was gifted with the fact I had the ability to focus on my goal so much.

When the offer came and Tori St. Claire was born, it wasn't a matter of luck. By that time I had proven myself as a hard worker, willing to do what was required, and capable of understanding the demands of the genre.

I have a long way to go. Every day I adhere to my routine and never let myself think about what has been achieved, but what I can further do to continue to maintain a presence in my field. I still pick my peers brains. I still study the market. I still take craft classes. I still train my abilities. Daily. And I still find myself awed by authors around me, both those who've been published forever, those who aren't published at all, and those who are just coming out of the gates alongside me. There are amazing people here, who have their own training regimes and approaches. There is something to learn from each and every one of my peers.

So for those of you who are wanting to write, wanting to become published, I'll say it again -- approach it like a job and do the necessary training. Nothing can stop you if you keep that in mind. Not "talent" not "ability" not "genius" and certainly not "luck". Stop listening to those opinions. Write, if that's what you hear the calling to do.




0 Responses so far.

Post a Comment

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
(History Channel International)



GoddessFish Promotions

Goddess Fish Partner

Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
For The Latest In Romance Reviews

Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Coffee Time Romance

Coffee Time Romance
Blogging About Romance