Friday, October 9, 2015

Appreciating Talent

This past week, I finally took up blogging for my day job again. I wrote a quick little opinion piece for the business blog and my boss/father wound up raving about how well-written it was all night. Which was news to me, since I literally slapped it together in like fifteen minutes. Shhh.

My self-depreciation about this little blog post wound up leading to an interesting conversation about talent. It's easy to think of something you're good at as being easy, or unworthy of praise, or any other number of things that allow you to sweep it under the rug. It's easy to look at something you made and find its flaws, then use those to try and convince other people that the thing is absolutely awful. I think creative types in particular do this a lot.

But maybe we shouldn't.

Maybe we should all take a step back from whatever it is that we've made--a little blog post, a big novel, a song, a painting, whatever--and look at it from the point of view of someone who doesn't have the skill set we do. What would someone who isn't aiming to be a professional writer think? What would someone who doesn't have a fine arts degree think? Can we find the shining bits as easily as they could?

Looking at your work like someone else, trying to find the bits beyond all the flaws we immediately see, can help us not hate our own work so much. We as creative people tend to be entirely too hard on ourselves when, sometimes, we really need to actually take stock and appreciate our own talent and hard work.


Emily has a really hard time thinking of herself as 'talented,' but she's trying to get over that and bolster her ego a little bit. She's also in the midst of working out ideas for a new cosplay, because reasons.

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