The Overnight Success Myth

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A blog I follow, Story Fix 2.0, hosted by Larry Brooks, featured a guest piece written by Art Holcomb on The Nature of Talent. (Excerpts of his article are in italics, indented below.)

Someone, please help me be creative!
Someone, please help me be creative!

Even a writer as talented as Mr. Holcomb has dry spells; dry spells that can even last  for eleven years, as was the case for him. He was so desperate to write himself out of the desert and into the lush forest, he drove 120 miles once a week to attend a writing class with science fiction writer, David Gerrold. That writer had Art doing the really hard work to where eventually Art’s productivity and quality came back.

… I got back in touch with my abilities once I realized that creativity works best in harness and under the thumb of a good work ethic.

Writing takes skill, but even more so, it takes talent. Writers are artists whose tools are not paints or charcoal pencils, but whose tools are the written word. Whether art is appreciated on a canvas or the pages of a paperback book, the receiver of that craft has a choice to walk on past the canvas/put down the book, or absorb it for all it is worth.

…for each person willing to do the work, there is a fire that can live forever inside of you. A fire to create, which warms the soul and ignites the imagination. My life would be hollow without it and I am grateful every day that I get to write and create and weave stories that can move friends and strangers alike.

Office worker overworkedI learned what being a disciplined writer is by participating in the 2015 NaNoWriMo event. I had to write every day in order to complete a novel in just one month’s time, and I did. In less than 30 days, I learned what Art Holcomb learned, if I’m willing to fight for it, my talent will emerge and create a piece of art at which others will want to pause so they can fully appreciate what has been crafted.

After input from my Beta readers and numerous edits, I am on the verge of querying that novel – my second – in an effort to secure agent representation and eventual publication so that the byproduct of my craft can be enjoyed by the masses.

There is no such thing as overnight success.

True, the passage of time and an extraordinary amount of hard work don’t guarantee success, but it’s a damn good place to start. That applies to whatever you’re doing.

You’ve got to put in the time to earn the dime.

2 thoughts on “The Overnight Success Myth

    Theresa Hupp said:
    April 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    I’m a firm believer in the 10,000 hours principle. The number might not be right, and might not be the same for every activity. But the principle that we need to work hard and for a long time to be competent at any activity is.


    Jill Weatherholt said:
    April 4, 2016 at 3:06 pm



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