Saturday, July 17, 2010

What if you don't got talent?

This is a post that some time ago I saved instead of publishing. So here it is now!


I've been reading Nicola Morgan's excellent blog and now I'm depressed. She has convinced me that as well as skill, hard work, perseverance, and intelligence you also need talent to write. Now I can do hard work etc. but how do I know if I've got talent or not? I could be like the 5' 11" teenager planning to be a ballet dancer when I grow up.

I know I say I'm not aiming at being published and in a sense it's true. I do dream about it though and the thought that it may be beyond me is a harsh one.

It's no good asking you lot if I've got talent - you're my friends! It's a bit like asking my Mum who always said "lovely darling". That's great, it's what Mums are for, but it doesn't answer the question.

And a little, tiny rebellious bit of me doesn't quite believe it anyway. Brain patterns change. People can learn and grow. Or is that like telling myself that I'll be playing clarinet in the Albert Hall one day, after starting at age 55 and practising for less than an hour a day?

What do you think?

12 COMMENTS:

DJ Kirkby said...

I wish I knew the answer to your question! I suppose the definition of talent is subjective to a large extent.

Old Kitty said...

Awww fairyhedgehog! The one reason why I attend these writing courses is to have the most objective view of my writing as possible. And I've learned that my writing is never good enough and it's in need of endless improving! But such critiquing has only given me hope that I'm not a total loss.

I agree that friends and family are never the most helpful (lovely though they are) but for me, having a complete stranger evaluate my writing seems to be working.

Good luck with your writing!!! Please never give up on it!!
Take care
x

fairyhedgehog said...

DJ, well at least I'm not alone in not knowing!

Kitty, maybe writing courses is the way to go! It certainly seems to suit you.

Missed Periods said...

I don't know the official answer, but I have an inkling that if we are truly drawn to writing there's a reason for it.

fairyhedgehog said...

MP, that's a great thought and I'd love it to be true!

jjdebenedictis said...

Psychologists have tested what traits correlate best with success in life, and do you know what they find?

The attribute that best indicates whether a person will go on to be a success is not IQ or talent--it's optimism.

Because optimists don't give up. They keep trying because they have faith they'll get to their goal someday.

So if your goal is publication, don't worry about whether you're talented. Just keep improving and keep faith in your potential. That faith will take you where you want to go.

Adam Heine said...

I really like jj's comment :-D

I think you already know how I feel about talent, fairy, but for others, I don't like the word 'talent'. I like the words 'hard work'.

sylvia said...

I just go on the basis that it is not possible for me to know whether I have talent or not. I *hope* that I do, and I dread finding out that I don't, but it isn't something objective that I can measure about myself.

And having accepted that, the only thing I *can* do is go forward as if I have talent and hope it works out. Because to presume the opposite would be silly, right?

So, that's what I do...

ingrid said...

I completely understand your fear. I share it.

I went to (a truly wonderful) writing conference a couple of years ago. Half way through they bombarded us with editors from a few different publishing houses who told us how very hard it was to become published.

It was disheartening.

And then, this fall, I found out a woman I'd attended years worth of writing tutorials with was published (Girl in Translation). :) Wonders happen. :)

x

fairyhedgehog said...

jj, it's a very good point. I'm not sure I'm always optimistic but my mantra of "I'm not ready to give up yet" has got me through some pretty rough times.

Adam, that's a good link, thank you!

sylvia, and of course you're right that if we can't know if we have talent it would be silly to assume that we don't.

Thanks, everyone. This is why I say that the comments are the best part of this blog!

Mother (Re)produces. said...

The ones who don't improve are the ones who love being a writer, not the ones who love writing. Everyone I know who has gotten published has kept at it and kept at it. They seem to have "talent," but to me it looks the same as drive. These are the people who would keep writing and sending it in even if they were only allowed to publish under a pen name and never take credit...

fairyhedgehog said...

MRP, I shall just have to keep at it then!

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