Work ethic

From what I’ve observed in my medium-length life, US culture holds as sacred that any difficulty can be overcome by patience, determination and hard work.

I confess, I sometimes doubt this, even while some part of me cries out that it must be true.

I’ve always tried to deny such a thing as “talent”–I preferred to think of it as just people being more interested in a thing so that it consumed them and they did it all the time, ie, their hard work and dedication was what made them that good. But as I’ve gotten older, there do seem to be some people for which certain things come naturally, and they’re just as likely to carelessly toss this ability aside as embrace it. True success seems to be a mix of talent, commitment, hard work and even (I’m going to say it) the simple lucky break. (Oh, I’ve read so many “how to get published” books that simply insist it was dedication, not luck, but the truth is, I know people who’ve been flinging themselves at every opportunity for all their lives and yet to have anything stick. Sometimes it IS a matter of your manuscript landing on the right desk at the right time. Why is that so offensive? Because it means that some people who are really good won’t see success? — Still, without constant effort and dedication, your chances of this happening lessen drastically.)

— Related, but not really:

For quite some time now (as you’ve seen recorded in this blog) I’ve been trying to apply myself, to first finish and then revise my novel, and I’ve been floundering, to put it nicely. I’ve been very unfocused and I’ve known that everything I’ve written has been pretty distracted.

And then today, for no reason I can figure out, I had lots of energy. I worked out twice, got a ton of things done, and then I revised a whole big chunk of my novel.

Completely random.

I will never understand my brain. To be honest, if I hadn’t been writing all those days, I’m not sure it would’ve made a difference. I really do have some on days (rare) and some off days (many). And when I’m on, my work is so much better than when I’m off.

I’ll keep writing as often as possible, because I think it’s good to keep the joints oiled and in good working order. But I do so knowing that most days, I’m just going to be churning out junk. And hoping for that one day where I’m on, plugged in, focused, flying.

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