Sunday, March 24, 2013

Talent Vs. Knowledge

I watched Yuna Kim, South Korean figure skater, yesterday. She was incredible. I like figure skating and have been watching for years. I think this woman is about the best I've ever seen. Her talent was unmistakable. What I really liked - her fluidity. It was awesome watching her AFTER each jump. She continued the flow of the jump into the next part. I've never seen anything like it. There was one point where it seemed to me that she did a little jump for joy after the real jump. There it was - a triple something or the other and then, a wee little, "See, I did it!" Hop. That's what it was - a hop of delight. and accomplishment. I'm still humming from the joy of it. Sadly, it's not on YouTube yet, but it will be.

Talent is, I think, the number one ingredient in anything we strive for. We all are gifted, but sometimes not in the thing we WANT to be gifted in. Does that make sense?

My daughter loved gymnastics, but she got tall. There's nothing you can do about tall. A friend loved ballet, but she got 'endowed.' There's not many ballerinas who are 'endowed.'

With my writing, I know I've got talent. But having talent doesn't preclude knowledge. No matter what I write, I've got to back it up with a sound knowledge of my craft.

We all start somewhere. After awhile, we decide, yup, we can do this. Then comes the time for work. For sucking in knowledge. For transforming that knowledge into something useful. For building up the talent with the knowledge. 

I sometimes moan and groan (or whimper and whine) about the things I know I have to do to my story. Things that I've been learning over all these years. Suggestions made by critiquers and teachers and friends. 

I'm grateful for the talent. Now, I will stop whining and start working. Reading is not a luxury for a writer. Research is not a luxury for a writer. Learning is not a luxury for anyone. These are necessities. Like water and air and a roof over my head. 

Talent is awesome. Knowledge is even better. 

Life is work. (but don't forget to play)

PS - I've revamped my front page. I've added two EXCITING pages. Please check them out if you get a moment. The first is 'Heroes.' These are people who have supported me beyond hope. The second is 'Speakers.' I've put links to those who have touched me, either at big conferences or at small library chats. Thank each and every one of you on these lists. I love you to pieces!

PSS - My buddy, Fred & his friends, have an awesome band out of Pittsburgh. Bunch of us are getting together from Philly and Cleveland to see them in April    GunBand - check them out.

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