Friday, September 11, 2009

Talent and Hard Work

Like many things related to the world of writing there is much debate over the importance of talent versus hard work. Many a beginning author (myself included) has spent needless hours worrying about whether or not they have the required talent to write at any sort of professional level. Others feel cheated when they hear that the important thing is working hard, not whether you have oodles of talent to begin with.

The dilemma, here, is in the definition. How do we distinguish “talent” from “skill”? Guess what? In the end it doesn’t matter.

Here is the skinny on "talent" versus "hard work". Look at something you wrote today. Now compare it to something you wrote a year ago. Or ten years ago. Have you improved?

"I have," you say.

Great. Now, tell me: did you improve because your natural talent blossomed or because you were busting your butt practicing your craft?

"Well," you say. "I don't know. How can I tell?"

You can't, so stop worrying about it and write.