Talent?

Poets and Writers Magazine March April 2008

“…At what point, I like to ask my students, does Michael Jordan become the greatest basketball player that ever lived? The tenth time he shoots a free throw? The ten thousandth? The hundred thousandth? If you’re so good at spotting talent Ms. Freed, let’s visit some high schools and you tell me who the next Yeats will be. Me, I know nothing about talent, but a lot about desire. Desire is what get you from ten to a hundred thousand; desire is what makes a poet like Yeats. When asked a question about his own talent, I heard Michael Cunnghan quote Marilyn Monroe, who said that she wasn’t the prettiest and she wasn’t the most skilled, but she wanted it more than anyone else.
What’s important, ultimately, is the struggle that desire creates in both writers and writing.”

Liz’s Comment: This resonated with me. Talent is not why I started writing. I wrote the worst stuff at first, but I desired to write, and over the years, the writing improved.

 

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