Sunday, October 2, 2011

Talent Schmalent

Talent is overrated. And offensive. Nothing is more irritating than someone who has talent and believes, because of that innate ability, that he or she has nothing left to learn. (Often, too, people who are devoid of talent do not know it, and yet still refuse to learn. Blech.)

Okay, perhaps one thing is more irritating than a lazy talented person: it's a person who believes they don't have talent, and uses that as an excuse to do nothing.

Think you don't have talent? Do you read books and say, "Oh, man, I don't write nearly this well!" I say screw talent. Yup. Forget about it. Just keep working. Keep writing. Have other people give you feedback and learn from it. Practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more. As long as you feel you have something still to learn, you haven't stopped growing.

Find what you are good at and hone it. You may not have the same level of innate ability as somebody else. So what? Work harder, try harder, revise, learn, grow. Whatever your talent, you will improve. Your writing (or painting, or singing, or other activity) will get better. Might not happen quickly, but it will happen.

Don't give up.

And if you think you're bursting with talent, don't think for a second that doesn't mean you don't need to work. Stop wallowing in your own hubris and get to work. Use your talents, or what are they good for?

Now get to work, all of you.

[Steps off soapbox.] (I stole this method from Rocket Scientist. She does this a lot, and I like it.)


  1. Hmmm, are you saying I must do something? What if I want to keep my talent to myself? After all, inevitably someone will belittle my talent and tell me how much better they are, which leaves me feeling like crap.

  2. Crack that whip!

    I've been told by many how "talented" I usually makes me laugh. There's always so much to learn.

  3. Yes, yes, yes, Neenee! Then again, if you want me to tell you to just give up and keep hiding out of fear, you'll need to check out my other blog...

    That should be enough to discourage you.

    But this blog isn't meant to do that. Skill and talent unused might as well be tossed in the trashcan.

    Barbara, I agree with you! I cannot believe what I wrote even five years ago. I assume I will keep realizing how much I still have left to learn for the rest of my life. But I'm still writing.

  4. I find there's always someone less talented than me, but there's always someone more talented too. Always growing, always learning, improving our talents.

  5. Wait, am I still offensive if I think I'm talented and yet keep learning? Constantly honing and working to improve?

    Of am I still a heinous horrible individual for thinking I have talent at least in one or two things?