Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Talent Tuesday: You!

Talent Tuesday

Hey everyone.

My laptop was killed by a flying mouse and I'm stuck in my basement missing all the wonderful sunshine. I'm also missing all my lovely files that I didn't get to transfer to my memory stick before the murdering mouse smashed into my LCD screen and ruined my view—in more ways than one.

So today, I'd like to discuss talent in a different way. Talent is defined as:

"A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment." http://www.thefreedictionary.com/talent

Genetic, environment—whatever the situation may be, I don't know for sure. There are some that have a calling and others who hunt for their talents. I was raised in a family of musicians, artists and writers, so it's not a surprise that I developed these skills. Does it mean I was born talented? Or does it simply mean that I've had a lot longer time to practice than those who were raised in environments outside the arts?

Yes, there are people who have a talent for accounting or zoology or some other profession, so I am by no means asserting that only those in the classically designated artistic fields are talented. (One of my favorite things to say is how much I wish I'd been born with a genetic talent for making loads of money! Starving artist isn't really something one dreams to become! ;))

I'd like to open up the comments for discussions about your journeys. Did you have to fight for respect within your family? Was your writing, artistry, music, or other talent denigrated because it wasn't considered a viable option for financial security by parents or spouses? Have you enjoyed the support of friends and family to pursue your innate ability?

What have you struggled to overcome in order to realize your talents?



Nick Valentino said...

Any "talent" I may have was always learned. I played in bands since I was 15 and I gave that up to write. Anyway, I never had a particular innate talent. It was always about passion to me. For me, it's not always about Talent = Mastery. Personally I define it as Talent = passion. So whatever I'm passionate about is what I strive for. (I think just about everyone around here does that.) In my opinion talent with music, writing, art, comes from the fact taht you can tap into raw emotion and connect with others that share that emotion. For instance, if you listen closely, you can literally hear if a singer means what he or she is saying.


J.R. Turner said...

That's sooo true! I know exactly what you mean. But it does pose the question--which came first? The innate talent or the passion? Would we be passionate about pursuing something we just had no aptitude for?

For instance, I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but my mother sang opera. When she practiced at home, I wanted so badly to be a part of that and even was coached some. But, it was soon obvious I was pretty much tone deaf. So, without the innate talent, my passion died out. (I was much better on the instrumental end for some reason.)

Writing was always my first passion, so I'm thrilled I have a life that lets me pursue that dream :) There is a lot of truth in what you're saying though and I'm so glad you shared it here!


Martin Bartloff said...

Nick says it all. I too strive at whatever I begin. There is undeniable, innate talent in our family however. All of us are good with our hands. We don't need plumbers or electricians.

That saves a ton of money. I built my own deck, installed a swimming, replaced all 27 windows in my house, tiled the bathroom walls and floor.

How did your mouse get airborne? BTW you can purchase a new lap top screen for $65 on ebay and they are super easy to replace.


Sue said...

I always wanted to ride horses at the very top levels of competition. I had the passion and the drive from childhood. I took lessons, studied books written by the masters, practiced hard, sweated, fell off, got back on, got hurt and still got back on, went to horsemanship school, competed at shows, trained my own horses, developed myself to the highest possible level I could achieve...and it just wasn't enough. I am a proficient and tidy rider, no doubt. I know enough to be able to help and advise riders who have reached the heights I aspired to. But, after thirty years of striving, I know that I'm never going to get there. For whatever reason, I just don't have the aptitude. I don't have the natural feel for it. My riding level will always be somewhere in the middle between sow's ear and silk purse.

Writing fiction, on the other hand, has always come easily to me. Although I didn't discover writing for fun until junior high, I've never had trouble developing characters, setting up conflicts or conjuring up natural dialogue. And though I'm extremely introverted in person, I seem to have no inhibitions when it comes to splashing the contents of my imagination across the written page and presenting it to the world for inspection. It's just part of who I am.

So, for me, writing started as an aptitude that became a passion. Riding was a passion that led to proficient mediocrity. :) I think that's the difference right there.

As a writer, I don't know if I'll ever achieve the level of success of some of the other writers here, but I do think it's interesting to note that there was a definite disparity between my early passions and my natural talents.

No regrets. :)