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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talent, Effort, Drive

Talent is really unknowable. Is it how easy accomplishments come to you? In which case, the majority of very accomplished people who put a lot of effort into what they do are maybe not "talented," since their current "talent" was developed through years of hard work.

Effort, then, overwhelms talent. Talent is the sum-total of previous effort.

Drive, though is what really stands behind effort. Drive is wanting do it in a strong way. It is effort in pursuit of something very concrete. It is living and breathing your field.

So ask yourself a series of questions.

How talented am I? (What is the present state of my ability, after the years of work I have already put in?)

How much effort do I put into things? Am I content with the selected poems or do I need to check out the collected poems?

How driven am I to succeed?

Everyone I know prefers the slightly-above average student who works hard to the one who seems talented, in the abstract, but whose talent never quite coalesces. If things come easy to you it is easy to get a bit lazy.

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