This is what I console myself with on my off days. No matter whether it is writing, cooking, knitting or making friends, persistence wins over talent.
You can do a bad job of something, but if you push it and promote it and show it to enough people, there’s a bloody good chance something will come of it. This is the truth, so if you also have off days, remember it. Obviously it must be true, or terrible books (50 shades of something spring to mind) wouldn’t be published, all music would be terrific, and … well … David Cameron wouldn’t be Prime Minister.
Tonight I have ruined both egg mayonnaise and hummus; two dip/spread things that I have made thousands of times for at least 20 years. It’s the first time they have ever been a disaster. But there will be another day; just not this one.
Some people allow disaster to be more traumatic than others. Perhaps more talented people take it to heart more readily. I once knew an incredibly talented writer, who was unable to get his work published through traditional routes. Why? Who can know. I would hazard a guess that his pride in his own talent prevented him from stepping on to the humble stone and asking nicely to be published. He was gutted every time anyone criticised him. Even if they said they liked a bit of his book which he didn’t consider to be the best part.
I, on the other hand, touted my novel across two continents, and I never cried once at a rejection slip (and boy, do I cry easily). And then I was published.
The final part of the phrase is ‘And talent is overrated, therefore.’ The reason for that is because it can be dangerous to consider yourself talented. Many people have an innate talent, or superpower, for one or two specific things. But no-one can afford to lie back on their laurels, or the world may pass them by.
If anyone says that I am clever or talented, I am forced to rebuff them gently. I work hard. I am persistent. If I am clever or talented (who knows? Not I) these things aren’t the reason I succeed. I succeed because I don’t stop.
I also did a silly thing today. I’m touting for business as a copywriter, and I suggested to one company that I produce 4 articles per month for their blog page on their website, which would result in 360 posts in one year.
Oh dear. After I stopped laughing, I told a couple of people for a laugh, and got on with the next letter. I’m a writer, not a mathematician.