One of the characters in the novel I am reading -- Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn -- is a TV writer. Writing is difficult for him: "He felt, while sitting in front of his computerscreen, watching the words stack up in ways that were always somehow less than he'd hoped, pressed up against his inadequacies, forced to face his creative limitations, tormented by the awareness that this was the best he could do." When I read that bit of the book last night, I made a note in the margin (shame on me since it's a library book, but don't worry, I used pencil and I'll try to remember to erase it before I return the book!). Anyway, that is exactly how I feel about writing. That it is difficult and that it brings me face to face, somehow, with my own limitations. I feel that way almost every single moment!
I've been thinking a lot about this subject since I read a book two weeks ago called The Talent Code (by Daniel Coyle). Coyle, a journalist, has traveled around the world visiting what he calls "talent hotbeds" -- places where great talent is nurtured such as a British soccer school, a music camp in upstate New York, and a Russian gymnastics club. And Coyle makes the very interesting point that it is precisely to by doing difficult things -- by operating at the edges of our abilities -- that talent is GROWN. (He doesn't think that talent just exists on its own, rather he argues that talent must be developed.) So that's the thought I leave you with for today... it's rainy in Montreal, perfect for writing and I'm hoping to grow some talent by operating at the edges of my writing abilities. And I hope for you, whatever you are doing, that you will grow some talent, too!