Procrastinating from my Nanowrimo-novel (3471 words) I found Hugh Macleod’s article ‘ don’t worry about being an artist. just worry about getting the work made. ’.
It reminded me of how I know some people that graduate in something or the other, and then say ‘Oh, now I am a real \<insert random profession>’. When then asked what they really do then, they usually don’t have an answer to that. But at least they can say ‘I’m a \<insert random profession> now!.
Apart from these, a lot of people also seem to think that creativity (in any shape and form) requires talent. They don’t really know what this talent actually means, but clearly some people have it and some don’t. You get born with it, or maybe some fairy comes by at night and sprinkles it on you.
I don’t believe in talent (or that evil cousin called ‘luck’). I believe in (hard) work. I believe in doing. I believe that when you have an interest in a subject you need to dig in and put in the hours and hours of work to get ‘good’ or ‘great’ at it. Getting good / great requires work more than this vague talent. Sure, some people seem to do it more easily, however, most of these creative things take practice. And practice means work. It means failing and loving your failure because of the unexpected result. It means hating your failure and deciding you want to do the opposite. It means challenging yourself. It means stretching out to the borders of your sanity to see if you can, and then crossing it. It means stretching to the edges of your ability and finding you can go further than you thought you could go.
So I make this bold statement that you cannot be unless you do. You can call yourself a writer, an artist, a whatnot. But if you don’t actually do it, then you just stuck a label on yourself. Ask yourself what you would like more.