The Uselessness of Talent

You might be reading this post because you’re intrigued, or because you want to hear what I have to say. But I bet a lot of people are reading this because they think “Talent? Useless? Yeah, RIGHT!” Hear me out.

Maybe talent is what gets people writing in the first place. People heap praise on them, saying that they’re talented writers, they have so much to offer, they’re gifted, they were born with an ability and shouldn’t waste it. Fair enough. But then…what happens next? If that hypothetical person doesn’t develop that talent, are they still talented writers?

Of course not. To be truly good at something, you need passion. If you have passion, other things will soon follow. Passion leads to determination, which leads to drive, which leads to staring zombie-like at a laptop screen at 3am when you have maths homework due the next day. Without passion, talent is nothing. Without practice, passion is nothing. Talent is useless.

I know some people that think only an elite group can truly write, that it’s an innate skill only available to some people. The truth is that with enough practice, and enough perseverance, anyone can write. They may not go on to write the next Harry Potter or Twilight, because those trends are incredibly complex and hard to follow, but they will reach a point where their writing is good.

I’d like to say my writing is good, but I don’t think it is yet. I think my writing is okay, and that’s okay. I’ve written three novels – one a complete waste of time, one that was my first “proper” novel, and one that was written as part of NaNoWriMo novel last year. I think that if I keep revising my NaNo novel, my writing might become good.

Because talent is useless. Perseverance, drive, passion and staring zombie-like at computer screens is the real way to success.

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