Boy, did that general question ever make me want to know the particulars.
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I was thinking more along the line of having ambition and drive but no talent--delusional.
Ohhhhh man. This is exactly why I wanted to apply to an MFA in Creative Writing from UVA. Ambition, drive, insufficient talent. Also because I had a 2 yo and a baby in the queue. Now I'm so grateful the Lord shut that door.
Isn't that a gap all of us dance in? Between the - as you say - 'fake it 'till you make it' and the finite reality of the 'til. Even if we really are eternal beings the space between lifetimes is not. And maybe it never will be. I guess the question of what brings us joy comes into play here. I believe some magical thinking is healthy and necessary. To me it is admitting that my idea of what is real and what is possible is distorted. I guess the other question I have to ask myself is whether I'm willing to do the dance in that gap where I will run into heaps of disappointment and death, as well as triumph; or just - you know - stay off my feet, huddled in bed sucking my thumb… which I am wont to do.
I think I just had this conversation with my husband last night while walking the dog. I am unhappy with my job and want to do something creative for myself that could maybe become a career. I have a background in writing. He says "write a book". Just like that. I argue "Wouldn't it be stupid to spend months/years writing a book only to have it get thrown in the trash at every publisher?" That, I think, is delusion.
LJ, the Lord hasn't shut any door. Maybe a postponement. That is exactly why I went to graduate school--to find out if I HAD it. Turns out I did. It was well worth it.Dreams vs reality. It's a risk, isn't it? We're always risking being a little crazy.
the judges of talent are fickle and unpredictable. i know some brilliant writers who've never been published and some seriously sub-par ones with book deals. it's hard for someone just starting a project to know how their work will be received, so why not just try for the sake of curiosity. Moreover, not doing work that brings us joy because we are afraid people won't like it seems a pretty sad way to live. one other thing, some of the most successful writers i know think they have no talent. maybe thinking you suck is just part of "writer brain." maybe very few creative people are able to honestly assess their talent one way or the other.
That talent delusion you speak of is why American Idol has had such a great run. And all reality tv shows. And Paris Hilton. I admire all the people who have stood up, sung their hearts out and hit every sour note in the process. It stinks to see them ridiculed, but at least they are willing to risk the pain. Also, in terms of painting, sculpture, traditional art expression, I take great heart in knowing no artist is respected until they have been dead at least 60 years, minimum. What about the guy who wrote his memoir and all these years later it is the movie '12 Years a Slave?' Take the risk and assume you won't be appreciated until after you are long gone. It takes the sting out of rejection. Besides, you are Louise and we all know you are fabulous.
Many of your readers and you have lived my dreams and still you worry about being delusional. Shut off all the noise in your head and take the risk. As Heather said: "you are Louise and we all know you are fabulous."
Are you referring to yourself, or someone else in particular? It's not up to me to decide if someone else's dreams are delusional (think Alice Munro, whose writing I do not like and who received many rejection letters). It's easy to "inhale" when one succeeds in a small way and consider oneself an expert all the way around. (Reminds me of the saying I've heard in AA about "huge inferiority complex coupled with a monstrous ego"). I learned from my bloggernacle experience that writers can be pretty cut-throat and competitive and resent the beautiful prose of another while floating on the truth of it. Erma Bombeck managed, I think, to avoid thinking her butt was gold-er than others because she had a way with words and was beloved as a result of it. But I've seen a lot of authors decide they're God-like in their sometimes limited success. Delusional? Who decides? Not you or me, or all those who thought Alice Munro was clueless when she thought she could write. "Artists" can be the biggest snobs of all.