Talent Is Nothing Without Focus and Endurance

- - Blog News

In every interview Im asked whats the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.

via The 99 Percent.

There Are 8 Comments On This Article.

  1. I remember a good friend and great photographer, Philip Pace, pinning a sign with similar wording to the door of his studio when others, less talented than he, were using it. I used to feel that it was a frivolity, but as I’ve grown older I have recognised it to be a critical truth. Our modern day PC culture forbids teachers from mentioning this to students which probably accounts for the plethora of “artists, novelists, photographers” that have suddenly appeared.

  2. This quote is from novelist Haruki Murakami’s non-fiction book “What I talk About When I Talk About Running”.

    Mr. Murakami knows a great deal about talent –even when translated into English he’s a terrific novelist – imagine a fusion of Stephen King, John Updike and Ernest Hemingway at their spookiest, wry observational and economical yet evocative bests and you get the idea — he’s also a regular runner of very long distance races.

    Like that blog author I highly recommend reading “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” if you are looking for inspiration to keep going.

  3. Even if you don’t run out and buy “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”, make sure you go to that blog and read the entire excerpt. After talent, Murakami lists focus (concentration), and endurance as learnable, practicable disciplines necessary for success.

    • I think that was pretty clear from the title of this blog post which reads: “Talent Is Nothing Without Focus and Endurance”.

  4. I think the quote selected here is poorly chosen. If paraphrased it doesn’t mean much more than “if you aren’t good at writing, you can’t write good things”. I’m sure that’s true but it doesn’t need a highly acclaimed novelist to find that out.

    What’s also funny is that I know tons of photographers who read this blog will read this quote and think to themselves “Hell yes, you need talent”, thinking that they have it even though they are rubbish at photography (to anyone who reads this comment, don’t worry, I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about the others).
    The truth is, the only measure of talent in the creative fields is success and even that isn’t a good measure. There are loads of highly successful writers, musicians, photgraphers etc. out there that have a great talent for knowing what people want but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they do horrible work.

    • The quote is really an allegory when applied to the business of photography. Today success seems to be measured more by popularity . A good example is Markus and Indrani or even Terry Richardson.

      Those who have taken their talent and learned what is needed for the business side (focus and endurance) have become successful and continue to produce quality work. They are able to combine all the elements to be successful and that is all the quote and entire post is suggesting.