One of the common reactions I get when people see my artwork is, “I wish I could draw as good as you.” It’s deeply irritating to somebody like me to hear this, because to me it sounds like what they’re really saying is “I wish there was a way for me to draw as good as you without spending as much time and energy to get as good as you are.” Yeah, wouldn’t that be great. It would kind of be great for me as well, but the fact is that I couldn’t figure out a way to get could without spending the time and energy, so that’s what I did. After all, it’s not as if I was born with this talent, it came with blood, sweat, and tears. That’s all I had.
But I don’t want to completely disregard the idea that innate ability or natural talent exists. After all, Mozart started composing when he was four. If somebody wanted their child to become as good as Mozart was at the age of four, time, energy, and practice wouldn’t be enough. However, I would submit that while there are people like Mozart, and those with natural ability to a far lesser extent, most of skill comes with a lot of time and energy.
I personally like the idea. This is because I don’t think I have a lot of natural ability when it comes to writing or coming up with stories. But I love stories so much, that I’ve been dabbing into creative writing for a long time now. I figure, if I just keep working on it, surely something must come of it. Surely I’ll be able to create a story eventually. Because work yields fruit. It worked with artwork, why not creative writing?
It’s agonizing though. It’s agonizing how slow developing creative talents is, how draining it can be. Right now, I’m trying to create a story. And I’m doing it by rewriting something I’ve already gotten considerably far on. It’s so sad, taking apart all those hours of labor and starting up again. What gets me is how long it’s taking me to get where I am now, and that’s even when I’m off-track for about five months a year. All things considered, I have a lot of time to spend on getting better at this sort of thing, and yet I still have so far to go. It’s torturous. But I have to believe that the sacrifice will bring benefits. Self-discipline, if nothing else. It takes a lot of intrinsic motivation to do this, after all.