What It Takes: Talent

Blog Post 59 What It Takes TalentIf you’re a writer who is published or who has worked to break into the traditional publishing world, you’ve probably received a rejection letter from an agent or publisher.  If you’re lucky, they’ll say something like, “While we are not seeking material this particular genre, keep writing because you have potential.”  If you’re really lucky, that will be a handwritten note.

I received such a response at a writer’s conference.  I’d submitted pages of one of my manuscripts, which turned into Hunter Hunted, to an agent who is highly regarded in the field.  While he rejected it, he wrote at the end, “You have the craft.”  Never had I realized that a rejection would bring me great joy.  It did because to receive such a statement from that particular agent told me I had what it took to publish novels.  I had the talent.

I knew I had that natural inclination.  To be honest, I had an inkling of it back in high school.  Why?  Because I found great satisfaction in writing.  I “couldn’t not write,” as I liked to tell friends and family.  As the years passed, I graduated college and graduate school and lived on my own before getting married.  During that time, I realized one thing.  I had to hone that talent.  Once I began taking a correspondence course about writing, I realized how much I needed to improve.  Since then, I’ve joined a critique group and begun attending writers’ conferences to learn

Maybe you enjoy writing.  How do you know if you have the talent?  And if you think you do, what should you do you do about it?  Here’s three things to keep in mind.

Not everyone has the talent to write.  I’m not saying that to crush anyone’s dreams.  Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “If you put your mind to it you can do anything.” I think that’s a bit of a stretch.  To excel to high levels, natural talent must exist.  If you realize that maybe you weren’t gifted with the writing talent, don’t worry.  God has gifted you in other ways.  I can promise you that I have no talent to sing well enough to be a career soloist.  I certainly don’t have the athletic talent needed to play basketball at the pro level.  But writing fiction?  I know I have the gift.

Figure out if you have the talent.  This can be a fun process.  Take a look at the next questions.  Do you derive great satisfaction from creating characters that are living and breathing for you?  Do you feel refreshed after writing?  Do you find that you have to write no matter what?  Have people who know something about the craft told you that you have the ability?  If the answer to all of these four questions is yes, you have talent.

Hone that talent.  You have a propensity toward writing.  It’s time to take that and hone it.  How to do so?  You’ve probably seen me talk about these before.  Put in the time.  Be patient.  And most of all?  Be willing to learn.

That will be the topic of the next blog:  Teachability.

This post does not mention any products.  Therefore, I am not receiving any compensation for writing this post.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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