Current Release

Current Release
The Warrior's Viking Bride

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is talent a myth?

My CP, Donna Alward has just read Outliers which she says is very good. It is one of the recent crop of books that asks what is talent and does talent have to be honed. The answer tends to be yes and it takes many hours. The question for most people is do they want to spend the time and are they honing the right skills.
There remains a persistent story, probably enhanced by the film Amadeus that Mozart just was. Nothing can be further from the truth. Mozart practiced. At first his father worked him hard, and then he worked. It was how he supported his family. Mozart was that good because he put the time and effort in. He also loved music.
If you look at any of the top athletes, they do practice their skills. They probably practice them more than anyone. The great Australian cricketer and possibly the greatest cricketer ever, Don Bradman famously played for hours as child hitting a golf ball with a stick. He did it because it was fun.
Or if you look at dancers, the amount of time someone like Twyla Tharp spends in dance class etc. As she said in her book, The Creative Habit the top ballerinas spend more time at the barre than anyone else.
If you read Blake Snyder, you will see that the top film moguls know movies inside and out and still love them.
Get a group of writers together and what do they discuss -- writing. The top authors do spend lots and lots of time working. Successful authors read and have read since childhood, absorbing the love of words. Many have written and scribbled away. Nora Roberts' work habits are legendary.
Some say without practice, talent is latent and asleep. With practice, talent blossom. Like anything, it is a matter of using it. It is also a small matter choosing the right bits to hone. This does go back to the whole being willing to listen. People who succeed have honed the right skills. I need to remember this and not to keep practising and polishing the same thing but to honestly look at what can be improved and see how I can go about it.

Now I need to get back to my copy edits for Compromising Miss Milton but I think I will get Outliers and one or two others for my TBR pile as Anne McAllister has not come up with my summer inspirational reading book yet...

3 comments:

Anne McAllister said...

And summer is almost over! Sorry about that, Michelle.

I would say, though, that Outliers, sounds like a good choice. Or you could read The Tipping Point, his earlier book, if you haven't already. It's worth a look.

Have you read How Men Think? The first half or so of that is definitely worth reading.

Anne, who should be finishing her revisions and not commenting on anyone's blog.

Suzanne Jones said...

Great post. And so true.

Michelle Styles said...

Anne -- I will let you know how the choice fares!

Suzanne -- I am pleased you found it interesting.