Who’s the Fool Now?

Hand throwing a crumpled paper into a waste paper basket.

Do I have the talent to write or am I just fooling myself? I ask that question almost daily.

Talent is great, wonderful, and a powerful step in the right direction, but many workshop leaders and published authors agree it is not as important as perseverance.

I enjoy words. My first job was as a secretary and I was a fast and accurate typist. What I did not enjoy was typing numbers. I had no talent for it. I hated it. When I left the alphabet rows of the keyboard, my fingers wanted to cross over each other and I always had errors to correct. I thought it was hopeless. Incredibly, I landed a job in an administrative office responsible for budget reports. I thought my career was over before it even started! But it paid well and I had to make a living, so I stayed. My next job was at an accounting office. More numbers! But now I used a 10-key pad, and soon I could crunch numbers as well as the next guy. During those years, my abilities grew and I soon enjoyed what I was doing.

Writing is not an unchangeable talent, rather it is an ability that grows with effort and practice. Many award winners and “New York Bestseller” authors have told of their first efforts and how poorly they were written. It took years for most of them to produce anything worth publishing.

So, if you want to write, consider the following: Persevere, Practice, Learn.

Join a critique group. Embrace constructive criticism—it will only make you better. Read voraciously. Write regularly. Visit the many online sites that give writing advice.

 Persevere—the only sure way to fail is to give up.

When you look back on what you have written, you will be amazed at your growth. And somewhere along the way, you may have done some surprisingly good writing!

What is your story? Have you become frustrated and thought you would never make it as a writer? Have you received rejections and thought it proved your theory? How did you pull yourself out of that depressing black void?


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