Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Toil vs Talent

As in all endeavors, toil is necessary to succeed and more so in writing. Work or its habit is the mother of talent. A writer must labor over his craft until it becomes strength, and the only way the writer can develop this efficacy is by working at it, sitting at one’s desk or computer and writing.

Like any work, this requires the expenditure of time—time spent writing, time spent thinking, time spent practicing the craft of writing, and time spent deliberating about what to write and how to write it. All of this requires the habit of work, the usage of time, the routine of sitting at a desk or before a computer, and the effort of writing.

Procrastination, dawdling, delaying, and hesitating hide any talent that the writer possesses. Only by forcing oneself to write, and to write consistently, daily, will this talent develop and produce results. Of course, the amount of time spent at writing will depend on each person’s situation, desire, and goal. Learning how to use any talent that one possesses is where effort is controlled, where struggle has a purpose, and where determination to succeed is required.

Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent will result in great success and satisfaction. “Learning how to use the whole of one’s talent” is the difficult part, the part that requires a great deal of dedication, much thought and reflection, and the physical exertion of actually penning or typing the words on paper or screen. Sometimes even that can be a struggle.

Thought and reflection are two important essentials required of any writer—thought that comes from the very soul of the writer whether it is poetry or prose, reflection that develops that thinking. All writing comes from the deep within and embodies the essence of the person. Without that kind of attention, the writing is shallow and weak.

Once the thoughts are torn out and become tangible as words on the page, then it is the time to review, re-assess, and revise the ideas and polish them until they shine brightly and express truly and succinctly what the writer intended.

Thus, the labor of the writer’s craft requires three things: thought, labor, and revision.