Perseverance is nine tenths of any art

Not that it helps to be nine tenths an artist, of course.

Or so says Mabruk, in Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Reading the graphic novel reminded me of that – it’s one of my favourite quotes from the story, though I have many.

I think it’s true. But I also think that 99% of people have that one tenth of being an artist that we call “talent.” The creativity, the ideas.

I roll my eyes when someone says “I have this idea for a novel/movie/TV series, but I have no talent to make it into anything.” They may not have what it takes to make that into something, but it’s not talent, it’s passion and perseverance.  The just don’t want it badly enough.

Which is fine. Those are those people they’re talking about when they quote “Anyone who can be discouraged from writing, should be.” It’s just not rewarding enough to bother, if you don’t have the passion that drives writers to do what they do.

But if that person really wants it, that other nine tenths, can be taught and learned. It takes time, and dedication, yes, but it can be learned.

So, if you don’t have the passion for it, fine, don’t bother. It’s okay. But if you have a passion for ideas and creativity, don’t let a bullshit “lack of talent” be the thing that holds you back.

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2 responses to “Perseverance is nine tenths of any art

  1. This is all so true. If you don’t have the passion for it, go do something else because writing is a labour of love, not a labour of ‘oh maybe i’ll have a go at the writing thing’.

    And once you’ve been through the sheer hard work of the writing thing you’ve got to move on to the arena of ‘will anyone read it? Buy it?’

    None of this is for the faint-hearted…

    • Yeah, on the one hand, it’s great to encourage people to be creative, but on the other hand, there’s no logical reason for someone to pour their heart and soul into something that they don’t love.

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