You've Got Talent... or not.
This guy seemed perfectly happy within his talent. He'd never be famous, never make a lot of money. But he could carve those little totems like nobody's business.
I think I can write well. People tell me that I write well. Although it's pretty much all people who care about me on one level or another, so who knows?
What I do know is that I've got most of the crunchy grammar stuff down and that I can construct a reasonable sentence. But what about style? I can't really read my own writing and define my own style. That's like trying to feel the texture of the road from inside your car. You can only get an impression, not the reality of it.
Here's the thing. Most of those people who audition for American Idol believe they have talent. Their mom or dad or sister tells them how wonderful they are, how much POTENTIAL they have and that they should never let anyone tell them not to pursue their dreams. But many, MANY of them have no more ability to sing than I do. And I have none.
So is it better to let them pursue their dreams, live in the fantasy, the impossible fantasy that they will ever get close to that goal of becoming an American Idol? Or is that just cruel? Because someone is going to tell them they suck, eventually. Wouldn't it be better if it was done gently by someone who loves them?
Also, what about the predators? What about the talent agencies who are happy to take money for some glossies and promises? Our world is full of instructors and schools who purport to teach drawing, writing, acting, etc. to absolutely anyone for a price. What if blind support drives a loved one into the arms of one of these... vultures?
There are more Salieri (Salierii?) in this world than Mozarts. That's too kind really because Salieri was actually supposedly a very talented man. He was just no Mozart. I'm talking about those without the real natural talent who strive to achieve something their whole lives, but never really get there.
Then I think about those Salieri folk who make it big anyway. They are out there certainly in every art. Writers with best-selling novels who are in love with passive voice, artists who sell their paintings for thousands because some guy said they were the latest and greatest, pop stars with pretty faces and voices strained ruthlessly through electronic magic.
I start to believe that fame and talent have nothing to do with each other. Or much less than one would guess. Fame might actually be mostly determination and stamina, self-delusion and dumb luck.
So where does that leave me?
Writing for my own personal pleasure, as always.
Hoping faintly that someday my words will be more than they are now.
Being content with all the spectacular things in my life and whatever happens with my writing, happens.
That's about the size of it.
Posted by Casey Freeland at 00:15