February 5, 2013

Talent—Innate or Developed?

Author and journalist Daniel Coyle did a study on three places around the world that develop top of the class performers to find their secret sauce.  This is what he came back with:

1.       Deep practice—slow down your “play” (be it music, sports, or something else) or decrease your playing field so your errors become blatant.  Reason?  This practice increases the production of myelin in your brain, which helps to “exponentially increase the rate at which we learn.”
2.       A model of one who’s already broken the mold, that inspires others—“If they can do it, so can you.”
3.       Master coaches—ones who, like Yoda, know how to properly assess their protégés, communicate with them and keep them motivated.

I feel this can also be applied to writing (or any other practice, really):  you need to slow down from time to time in your endeavor to make sure your story’s tenable, then break down your story in parts to make sure each one’s well-written and strikes the right chords; inspiration is what’s helped me stay motivated (in my case, I’m motivated by anyone who’s succeeded via hard work and dedication, despite the odds stacked against him/her—like Jo Rowling); and someone who can open your eyes to your writing and tell it how it is (advance readers—is there such a thing?—and editors).

But really, this is to say to everyone out there with a big dream they’re afraid they can’t accomplish:  don’t give up.  It may take you a long time to get there (aka: Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours), but if you keep at it, work hard on honing your skills, you will break through!

PS:  I don’t believe in “overnight wonders.”  Maybe they seem like it to us, the public, but in reality, it took a lot of hard work and dedication for those people to get recognized.

Source and full interview:  SuperConsciousness Magazine

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