Friday, April 07, 2006
What is Talent and What is Craft?
Diana Peterfreund brought up an interesting point about yesterday's post. How do we define "learnable" talent vs. "inborn"?
Here's what I think.
I have a talent for putting words together. I can write prose that is readable and conveys my meaning. I have story ideas running through my head and for the most part, I can adequately portray those story ideas on paper. But I also have the desire to write. In fact, I have a quote on my desk that says, "God doesn't give you the desire without the talent." While this may be an idealistic quote, I believe it is true. Without the desire, I don't believe the talent will be there.
Can you learn to be a good writer? Yes, I believe you can. I have made leaps and bounds in my writing journey since I first started writing in the sixth grade. But here is the key. I had the desire to write. And I've kept at it for all these years. Even if you don't write for a few years, if the desire keeps nagging at you, begging you to sit down and write, you know that this is something you really want to do. I had the desire to learn how to knit once - but it didn't last very long. And to tell you the truth, I don't really care if I ever learn how to knit or not. The desire isn't there.
To me, you can't have the talent without the desire.
Now, is this completely off base? Am I drifting into psycho-babble with this? Quite possibly. It is Friday afternoon, after all.
Let me know your thoughts on this subject...I'd love to hear them.
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