|Self-portrait in charcoal,|
Thankfully, you don't have to be very good at whatever you do to procrastinate for it to be a worthwhile pursuit. So I looked up tutorials and got to work. It turns out, the writing advice I once received from a critique partner applies to art as well, and it's the most important advice I've ever received, inside or out of writing:
|Flower in oil pastel,|
circa spring 2009
There's no such thing as talent.
Sometimes things come easier for one person than another, but in every project you take on, something will come easier for someone else. And there is nothing that cannot be taught. A tall person might have the advantage in basketball, but tell that to 5'3" Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues, who played for the NBA from 1987 until 2002.
If something about your writing isn't working, practice. Find a critique partner (or several, or an editor) and learn what your weaknesses are. Work on them. Practice creating plots that are organic. Practice writing dialogue. Practice weaknesses in short stories until you master them, then move on to novels. Don't be afraid of writing something that is horrid and unsalvageable. Just learn from it and improve the next time.
|Portrait of my daughter in colored pencil,|
The change in perspective is everything: lacking in talent means you're setting the blame externally. Lacking in practice, however, is something you can fix.
Don't use a "lack of talent" as an excuse for not reaching your goals. Call it a "lack of practice" and then get practicing.
|Flowers in oil pastel|