What do Ballerinas and Oil painters have in common? A commitment to their craft. They recognize that talent is only one part of their success story. A commitment to being the best at their talent is the key.
What is required of that commitment? Well for a ballerina she (or he), has to recognize that spark of excitement she gets when she dances as being more than mild interest. Building upon that she will take classes in method and technique, and practice, practice, practice. Finally she will dare to dream the impossible and audition for that role that was made for her.
What about writers? Do we make commitments? If we want to be successful we do.
I spent the morning on my porch with a cup of hot tea, my bible and my journal. I read and prayed and journaled my thoughts, frustrations, desires, fears. Making decisions that needed to be made for my writing.
I need to be singularly focused like the ballerina. I know I am a talented writer. No it's not prideful to say so. Pride would say I am better than everyone. I am talented. My writing has made people laugh, and made them cry. I recognize that my talent is more than a mild interest. It is my passion. I have to write. Ask me to show you the napkins I've written stories on at restaurants back before my iPhone and digital recorder. Come look at the post it notes plastered on cork boards in my writing cave.
Talent, passion, desire. Now I need method.
As I go through the last revision of my novel before submitting it to an agent at the end of this month, I am pouring over books on POV and character, and grammar. I can tell a difference in my editing. I'm looking more closely at what I've written. Is it true to my characters, am I short-changing them? Do I like what I wrote? No, then I change it.
Editing is slow, but after I've edited a page and look back over it I like what I see.
Reading back over the novel I finished this summer I like what I'm seeing. It looks good. I didn't say perfect, but good. I feel more confident in it's ability to hold it's own when I submit it later this month.
Dance ballerina, dance.