Dean Wesley Smith writes that talent is "only a measure of craft at a certain point in time and nothing more," and that the way you become talented is by hard work and lots of it.
From Dean's blog post:
In school I hated writing because I was so bad at it. If I had listened to all the people who told me I had no talent for writing, I would have quit four decades ago. No, make that five decades ago, because all my early report cards said I had no talent for writing.
Now, after millions and millions of words practiced, many books and stories published, I get comments all the time like, “You are a talented writer, of course you can do it.”
Or one I got the other day. “You have the talent to write fast.”
Well, when I started to get serious about fiction writing, it took me hours and hours to do one 250 word page. Then that page would be so poorly written and riddled with mistakes that it got tossed away more often than not. (Remember, I was working on a typewriter.) Yup, I was a “naturally talented” fast writer. NOT!
The real bottom line is that to get past this myth, you have to believe in yourself and ignore everyone else’s belief system about you. Learn from others, but ignore what they say about your “talent.” Because the moment you take that alien belief system into your own mind and believe it, either good or bad, you are doomed.
Although I am a big fan of Dean's blog, this particular blog post is a gem. If you're a writer who has ever been intimidated by the question, "Am I talented?" this is a must-read. Enjoy!
Head on over to Dean's post: Chapter 12: Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing: The Myth of Talent
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