Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third

*This post is Part 3 of 3. Find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

at the pinnacle

Lately, we’ve been talking about growing greatness.

It seems to me that many folks imagine talent is something a person is born with. You’ve either got it or you don’t.

I disagree. It seems to me that most of what we perceive as talent is really the culmination of thousands of hours of practice and intense passion.

Perhaps there are some individuals who have a special kind of magic we mere mortals will never touch. If so, I expect those individuals are pretty rare. I also expect it would be pretty difficult to tell the “genius” from the person who put in enough dedication and time to achieving greatness.

Furthermore, maybe greatness isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. None of us have to be world-class to be good. The amount of time, effort and passion required to be world-class is tremendous, much more than many of us would want to commit. I would also venture to say that most of the individuals we admire in a particular field are closer to pretty good than world-class. And that’s good enough.

We’ve talked about how you need to talk to yourself, set goals and practice. Here are my last few ideas for growing your own greatness (or pretty goodness):

Time

This is where I fall down. Frequently. There are only so many hours in the day, and we all have obligations. However fast or slow you progress is a matter of personal preference, but the amount of time you carve out will determine the speed of your progress.

Lately, I’ve reminded myself of this when I’m tempted to Netflix binge.

Imagination

This has two parts. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third”

Friday Share

The Cure for All the World’s Ills

…baby goats in pajamas.

 

Seriously, how can you not smile when you watch tiny goats in tiny pajamas hopping around and headbutting each other?

You’re welcome. Happy Friday.

This post was inspired by Sara Foster’s post on The Faux Fountain Pen, Miles of Smiles Challenge. Her list of things that make her smile (you really must go check out the math pants) made me smile and reminded me of one my favorite smile inducing things, baby goats in pajamas (or sweaters, or coats or whatever).

Actually, I want to see baby goats in tuxedos.

And top hats.

Maybe with little canes.

And monocles.

That would truly impress me.

Somebody do that right away.

Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything, Part Deux

*This post is Part 2 of 3, find Part 1 here and Part 3 here.

Practice Makes Perfect

Recently, I read Richard Feynman‘s Six Easy Pieces and felt staggered. Not only was this man a brilliant physicist but also an extraordinary teacher. As he described the structure of matter and atomic processes, I could see what he was explaining. It was absolutely breathtaking, in a super nerdy* way.

When I was a kid, I went on a school field trip (an art museum, the Getty, the Huntington?) and saw a marble sculpture of Cleopatra sitting on a cushioned chair. The pillow she sat on was so exquisitely carved it looked as soft as velvet and down. I held my breath looking at it. I wanted to reach out and touch it. I held back but others did not, if the black smudge on one corner of the pillow was any indication. They must have felt just as I did.

I felt the same when I read James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. That stream of consciousness writing. I’d never read anything like it.

When we come across the work of a master in any field, we’re likely to stand in awe and think there’s no way I could do anything like this. This dude/chick is a genius.

And, when we think genius, we typically think born that way and no amount of work is going to get me there. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part Deux”

Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything

*This post is Part 1 of 3. Find Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Road to Greatness
Greatness is somewhere around that next bend.

Have you ever thought about how someone becomes talented?

Notice I didn’t say anything about being born talented. Sure, a few folks seem born with a considerable edge over the rest of us. But I’m convinced the majority of folks that seem wildly talented only seem that way because of the vast amounts of time, attention, and passion they’ve put into honing their craft, whatever it may be. Any one of us could be great at whatever we chose if we were willing to do the same. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything”

Site Admin

Soon

This site has slumbered peacefully (surely is hasn’t moldered) while I’ve been buried in my novel-in-progress, but that’s about to change. I’ve missed y’all, missed writing post and reading others. I’m working on getting back in action. This site will experience an awakening (reanimation, maybe?) soon.

Tuesday Toss-Up

The Truth About Your Novel

My name is Sonia and I’m a recovering pantser.

For some folk, writing by the seat of their pants is the only way to fly (The Great and Powerful Stephen King, for example). On the other hand, when I try to fly without a plan, I end up crashing into the side of a mountain. Now, if I’m taking a short trip (flash fiction or short story) I can cruise along just fine. Sure, I might revise a dozen times or so but I can get to the destination without the screaming and flaming debris. For a novel length trip, however, a plan is a must.

Of course, because I have a very thick skull, that’s taken a long time to sink in. Even now, though I lean more towards the plotting end of the spectrum, I’m more a hybrid of plotter and pantser than pure plotter. A plantser, if you will. Or maybe a plotser. Continue reading “The Truth About Your Novel”

Tuesday Toss-Up

Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed?

When I was a kid, I heard a lot of negative advice about becoming a writer. I heard all about how my chances of being a NYT best-selling author were like a million-to-one. I heard about how many manuscripts were rejected compared to how many published. I heard how writing was a nice hobby but I better have a back up.

Super awesome encouragement. Right?

Now, I’m sure the advice was (mostly) well-intentioned. Folks didn’t want me pinning all my hopes on what seemed to them to be a pie-in-the-sky dream (what is pie-in-the-sky anyway and what does it taste like? Clouds? Mmm…cloud pie. Fluffy. Like marshmallow cream). Continue reading “Do You Have What it Takes to Succeed?”