The ABCs of Talent
My wife has a saying I like: “There’s no such thing as talent.”
I always say that’s ’cause she’s been hanging out with me all these years, but I’m just kidding. What she means, and I think she is correct, is talent is not innate; it is learned. Every good musician you see has invested a lot of time along the way.
I had a motto in med school; live by the ABCs. If I only reviewed the material once, I’d make a “C.” Twice was good for a”B,” and three times through would net an “A.” I was an “A, B” kinda guy. If I’d been smarter or had a thirty-six hour day, I coulda made all “As.” At least I didn’t settle for “Cs.” I wasn’t brilliant, but who’d want a Doc who was content to be average?
My music has been the same. I tape all my lessons and I am in the process of my second review. In keeping with the theme here, I would rate myself as a grade “B” mando pro. The guys at the top of the heap like my pals Darin Aldridge, Wayne Benson and “Cuz” Alan Bibey need not fear for their jobs, they are really good; “A+.” Heck, the little Moore Brothers can already outplay old Doc, and I’m proud of ’em for it.
I don’t know what all this says about writing though; there the ABC rule seems not to apply. I know in “The Mandolin Case” I musta gone through thirty revisions before I presented to an editor, and it morphed several more times before it made it to print. Maybe as a writer I am slower or less talented. Perhaps it is just a more difficult discipline; I don’t know.
I am sure of this, though; the book world belongs to the persistent. I’m making slow but steady progress on “Acquisition Syndrome.” Look for it sometime in 2012.
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