There is no such thing as talent

What if you took that elusive thing called “talent” off the table? What if you didn’t believe there wasn’t anything that any Stephen King or Nora Roberts had that you couldn’t have if you just wrote and wrote and wrote?

I’m not debating whether this is true or not. I’m just saying, if you believed there was no such thing as “gift” and that agent, that contract, that call was within anyone’s grasp, would you be able to stick it out until you got it?

Gwen Hayes, another one of my writing buddies just got the Call and I’m nearly in tears about it because it’s right at the end of the year and this has been such a fabulous year for so many people I’ve been working with. I can be egotistical and say it’s because we have so much talent bouncing off of each other.

But I think when I look at the people I know who’ve gotten agented or contracted or both this year, I think it’s more uplifting to think there is no such thing as talent. We just all started trying for that gold star about the same time and never stopped.


  1. Victoria Dixon
    Dec 15, 2009 @ 16:13:28

    Yes, it would be more meaningful. I can tell you, I have less natural talent for writing than I do for singing. But if I try to sing a solo in public, I turn to jelly and become so sick hospitalization becomes a probability. (People still tell me I should sing and I just want to punch them, honestly. ARGH!) I’ve had to work so damn hard at this and I’ve never been more proud of my work.

  2. Michelle Styles
    Dec 17, 2009 @ 08:46:11

    The fact that anyone tries to write/wants to write shows that they have talent. It is what you do with that talent that is important.
    I do like the McKee saying that talent without craft is like jet fuel without an engine — looks impressive but accomplishes little.
    If you have not read Gald well’s The OUtliers, you should as he discusses the nature of success. Generally it takes around about 10,000 hours. The willingness to put in the hours is another indication of *talent*.

  3. Jeannie Lin
    Dec 17, 2009 @ 15:53:08

    Now I have to hear you sing sometime, Victoria. *ducks punch*

    Michelle, that’s an awesome way to frame it. And, in a way, a little bit of zen. The talent is in the doing of it. I like it.

  4. gwen hayes
    Dec 20, 2009 @ 10:26:46

    I credit a lot of my success to my ability to pick friends. Not just because you are all so talented, but because you also are so supportive. Love you, Jeannie.