Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

writing-talent v tenacity February 16, 2019

Filed under: Writing — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:50 pm
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When I’m speaking to new writers, whether they be young or old, I spend time discussing the difference between talent and tenacity.

When you start, you may be discouraged because you see others with greater talent than you, but if you have tenacity, your dedication will develop talent, your resilience will keep you practising, your perseverence at pushing on doors will get you opportunities.  The most talented person who just holes up in a burrow will stagnate if they don’t work with what they’ve got.  So if you WANT it, you need to be tenacious, and eventually, your tenacity will develop your talent, and you will achieve your goals.

So much success in life relies on simply not giving up.

Caitriona Balfe, the actor who plays Claire Randall in Outlander, said some similar regarding making it as an actor, in a recent interview for The Irish Times,

a lot of it is just having the f***ing balls and grit to stick around and be persistent in the face of a lot of rejection. But I think that also comes from having a belief that if [there is] something you love to do so much, something that feels that it comes naturally, that in some way it has to be what you’re meant to do.

That’s it.  As Dory puts it, “Just keep swimming.”


7 Responses to “writing-talent v tenacity”

  1. Jim Stewart Says:

    This is great advice. My three pillars when sharing a workshop with neophyte writers: Read. Write. Persevere.

  2. Your words about tenacity are so true. Love the quote as well. I know when I find something that consumes me – that is my true talent and it would be hard to drag me away. The other stuff, if I want to be successful — that’s where tenacity comes in. UGGH!!
    Thoughtful post, thanks!

  3. Prior... Says:

    ahhh – thanks for this Shawn – so nice to read today – and may it inspire your other readers

  4. Great advice. I like the word “tenacity.” It shows a side of us that has grit and a “never give up on myself” attitude.

  5. jefferyaleg Says:

    You’re right shawn

  6. Sampaguita Says:

    I love this entry! It means so much not only for people who want to write to express their ideas, but also to those pursuing or even finding their purpose in life. And thanks for reminding me about Dory! I was greatly touched by the movie!

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