Persistence Trumps Talent

Pillars 3This week I’m starting a series of blogs called the Nine Pillars of the Writing Life. The series is an outgrowth of my own experiences as an author and draws extensively on the work I’ve done with other writers. Writers who have taught me, writers who have encouraged me, and writers I have worked with and, I hope, helped in their own writing journeys.

Writing is a journey. One that doesn’t have an end in this life. There is always something to write, always a story to tell, always a truth or an insight to share. As a fiction writer, my characters lead me in the exploration of the spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of life, revealing new things about myself and the world.

The first pillar I want to explore is Persistence Trumps Talent.

There are a lot of people who have the talent to write but they don’t get published. They don’t think they have the time. Or, they think they lack the grammar and spelling skills. Or, theyPersistence 2 think they’re too old or too young.

They don’t realize the craft of writing can be learned. Age and educational background don’t matter.

Or, they don’t think they have the talent to write. Talent can be developed through practice, practice, practice. We have a seed of innate talent but it must be developed whether it’s baseball, a musical instrument, a profession such as doctor or lawyer, and writing.

Persistent people triumph because they don’t quit, not because they’re more gifted. Quitting is never an option.

Persistence 3Talent can be learned. Persistence is the quality that can’t be imposed from the outside. There’s not a magic pill for it. Persistence comes from within. It’s that drive to succeed, to overcome obstacles, to persevere.

Join the conversation. How has persistence helped you in your writing journey?

6 Responses to Persistence Trumps Talent

  1. Diane March 11, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    There have been many times I would have given up writing if not for my writing pals and critique partners. They’re always there to encourage and inspire. You’re right, Henry. Writing and persistence go hand in hand. Talent can be learned. A great novel can be born. It just might not be the first, second, or even third book we write. We have to keep at it and never stop learning. Thanks for the great post!

  2. Henry March 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Thanks, Diane. Appreciate your stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You’re so right–we have to keep at it and keep at it.

  3. Darlene L. Turner March 15, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

    Hi Henry! Thanks for this post. There have been many times that I’ve felt like giving up. I get so close and then a rejection email lands in my inbox. That little devil lands on my shoulder and whispers in my ear “you can’t write…give up”!! But then God uses someone to encourage me and it presses me forward knowing that I’m doing what He’s called me to do. Write for Him.

    Perseverance is the key!

  4. Henry March 15, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    Remembering who we write for is the key for being persistent.
    Darlene, thanks for stopping by.

  5. Michael March 30, 2015 at 1:13 pm #

    Thanks for the post, Henry. The older I get the more I’m convinced that God likes hard work. Whether you’re a carpenter, lawyer or homemaker, He wants to see you will give of yourself in your craft.

    When Jesus cursed the fig tree, it made sense to me. Even the trees have a responsibility to work what they have been given.

    Giving up is not a moral option.

  6. Henry March 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    Hi Mike,
    I agree. Over the years, I’ve learned that for God’s plan for me to work, I have to do my part–not just sit back and wait for it to roll over me.
    I have to work my best at wherever he has placed me.

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