Saturday, July 11, 2015

When Talent Overcomes Training


By Keith N Fisher

I started the new job last week. Basically, it’s something I’ve done before, but the technology is different. While working, I realized I have a talent for something I really don’t like doing. Because of nondisclosure agreements, I can’t elaborate, but I learned something about myself and realized it can’t be taught, but practice makes perfect.

As writers we practice. We read everything we can find, listen to presenters at conferences, and learn the rules of writing. Yes. We’ve all heard the stories of overnight success, but training and practice are still the best ways to succeed.

Even so, I believe there is something else responsible for the longevity of a writing career. Talent shows, and those who have it, are some of our favorite authors.

“If that’s true,” you ask, “Then why are so many career launching books poorly written?” That’s a little harsh, but I’ve heard many authors agree about their first books. Look at Jeffrey S savage for example.

Jeff wrote two career-launching books. He refers to Cutting Edge, like a parent talks about a disappointing stepchild. It’s a good book, but when he discovered his Shaundra Covington character, Jeff’s talents really began to show. Now, as J Scott Savage, Jeff writes books the rest of us try to emulate.

I think every writer, when they start their career, works at getting it right. It’s an obsession, drilled into them, and that’s the way it should be. We keep to the basics, and try to remember lessons from English classes we attended. We follow the rules and write the best books we can.

As we learn more about the craft, we write even better books. Then one day, we arrive. There seems to be a marker in time when that instant comes, but most authors don’t realize the moment. We praise their talent, and we call them great. Anyone can be taught the craft, but there is a moment when talent overcomes training.

I believe that every writer has talent, because they write. Thousands of others claim, they always wanted to write, but never found the time, or whatever. If you write, you’re a step above thousands. Talent must be polished or tarnish will render it unusable. Don’t despair. Very few authors were blessed with perfect prose when they started.

Keep writing. Finish that book and move on to the next. You’ll know when you’re ready to be published. Revel in rejection, and keep going. It takes a lot of rubbing to polish silver. In like manner, it takes a lot of writing to polish talent. 

Then one day, after you write that best seller, somebody will ask for your secrets. Like many before you, your labor of love will be foremost in you mind. That’s why the best authors will always tell you to keep going. Learn the rules and follow them. Don’t let anyone discourage you.

Good luck with your writing—see you next week.     



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