by Peggy Bechko
Have you ever wondered about your talent for this writing thing? Whether scripts, books, articles, whatever. Have you ever thought, “Do I really have talent for this?”
I’ll be willing to say that’s a big yes for pretty much anyone reading this post. You have indeed asked that question of yourself and perhaps someone else – someone who’s read your work or maybe someone from whom you’ve taken a course. It’s a very real concern to writers. And, let’s face it, writers frequently need reassurance.
So, let’s think about this and ask a few questions.
First, the worst case scenario. How do you react when you fail? We all fail. It’s a human thing. That really isn’t as important as you might first think. The thing most writers and even philosophers will ask is what do you do next? Right now I hear grumbling – “what the heck does that mean?”
Uh, well, since you failed, did you learn anything from it? For want of a better phrase, did you grow? Or, is it the reverse? Did that failure make you feel smaller, less than you were? Did the accompanying criticism (when did we ever face failure without criticism to go with it?) diminish you? Did you allow it to drive you down? Did you immediately think you should just give up?
Beware of emotions that can destroy your dreams and hamper your next effort. Be mad, be frustrated, be whatever it takes for you to get back on your literary feet and try again. Failure isn’t the terrible thing it is sometimes made out to be. We learn from it, we course correct because of it.
So ponder what makes you outstandingly different. What makes you unique? Well, for one thing, getting back up once you’re down. You have strengths and weaknesses. You must have gone through a lot of self-analysis before deciding to try it as a writer. That means you decided what you really want to do. Yay for you! If I’m wrong here you’ll have to give it a rethink. Just don’t let the poison of rejection and a temporary failure decide for you. Keep asking yourself what you really want.
Here’s a big truth for writers and heck for almost anyone doing anything…risk. There’s always risk. I could come up with a whole lot of old clichés regarding this, but you already know if you play it safe as a writer your writing won’t grow. It will be middle-of-the-road at best. If you’re not taking big risks with your writing you’re not positioning yourself for the big gains. Which circles back to the paragraph above on failure. Failure just isn’t. Don’t let it determine where you are going.
Add to your ponderings as well. Who’s supporting you? What are your relationships, business and personal? We all need a support network, someone who’s a positive influence. Who’s yours? If you don’t have some writing pals, a spouse, a significant other, a good friend to cheer you, on you might want to look into changing that. Where are you going to draw your strength to deny failure and continue on?
And here’s a final talent you need to be a truly talented writer. You need to be able to cope with change. Just look at the publishing industry, the explosion of good independently published material. Look at the movie biz. Change is a constant. Styles of script writing change. Ways of making movies change. Do you plan to throw up a stop sign and attempt not being part of it?
Reality is you either adapt to changes or the system mashes you down. Are you going to make use of the changes and put them to your advantage as they happen or are you going to try to ignore it all and stubbornly cling to the ‘old ways’?
Change offers new direction, new perspectives, and new opportunities. Don’t consider change a problem. Embrace it, use it, make the most of it. Your talent will surge as a result.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.