I’m not a good writer.
We’ve all been here before. You’re in some sort of social or work setting and someone is asked to get up and draw something. They stand up with a smile and preface their impending performance with, “Oh, well…I’m terrible at drawing! :)” This is all well and good - its a natural response. If we know we are about to do something that is potentially embarrassing, we lower the expectations of our audience and hope to meet them somewhere in the middle. There’s nothing wrong with this.
I am, however, bothered when people use this same sentiment to make excuses for themselves. We all aspire to different things, but so often we use our lack of knowledge or ability as an excuse to avoid failure. Especially public failure. The key difference between this and the above example is aspiration. If you enjoy something and you’re a beginner, don’t say “I’m not good at _______”. If you say it, it becomes true. Instead, just get up and do it. Put your work in front of someone and ask them for honest feedback. It doesn’t matter if its drawing, design, singing, relationships, writing, a sport, programming, or whatever else.
My point is this: there is no such thing as talent. Sure, we all start from different places with different skills. What sets us apart, though, is the time we put in and our resolve to push through and learn from failure. Think for a minute about someone who is far and away a leader in their field. I bet you can think of a story associated with that person that is one of overcoming hardship and failure. MJ didn’t start out dunking from the foul line, folks.
I’m not writing this blog because I fancy myself a good writer. I’m writing it to get better at writing.