I’ve come to the conclusion that talent is highly overrated.
This morning, I wrestled with some words I’ve been crafting for the last several days. They’re stubborn ones. Draft after draft, they knocked me down, kicked me out of bounds and proudly dusted themselves off, waiting for surrender.
But each time, I just picked myself back up. Shrugged back my shoulders. Attacked those words one more time, with everything I had to give.
This morning, stubbornness finally paid off.
I’m sure some other writer would have seen the solutions long before I did, or found clever words sooner. A more patient writer would not have gone into a depressive funk as I did the other night, convinced this was proof of my inadequacy.
But another writer also might not have stuck at it as long as I did. In the end, persistence won the day.
I think I understand now why an old piano teacher of mine used to say she’d rather have students with persistence than students with talent. She told me that often, when I got discouraged with my lack of progress (or perception thereof) as compared to her other students.
Back then I thought she was crazy. Now I know she spoke from experience.
Whatever you’re working on today, don’t give up. You might not be the most talented candidate, and you might not win big. But if you fight longer than your opponent, you’ll surely advance a round.
And then, ironically, everyone will tell you how talented you are.