19 February 2012

A Talent? Hm. (Day 19)

Over halfway through with this 30-day blog challenge, and honestly, this one's tough.  I mean, what exactly does it mean by talent?  Something I feel I'm good at?  Something I've been actually told I'm good at?  Something I've actually received an award or accolade for?

No matter what criteria I go by, you (as the reader) get an inaccurate picture.

For example, I feel that I am good at singing (relatively), but I've never received any corroborating testimony or evidence from any quarter.  Thus, I would not consider it a talent.

Though I've received no prizes or multi-million dollar book deals, writing is another thing I feel I have a flair, a talent, for...even if I don't measure up to society's "standards".

I distinctly remember beginning to write as an elementary-school-goer, when my parents let me get one of those blank, color-it-yourself journals from the Scholastic Book Club.  My seventh-grade English teacher wrote "Keep Writing!" in my junior high yearbook, and I wrote scads of love poetry through high school (probably semi-plagiarized, no doubt...I was highly impressionable).

College was a bit more of the same, although the poetry slowed down a bit.  I found being in love much more preferable to writing poetry about it.  Per the requirements for my major, I took Creative Writing.  I distinctly remember one group writing exercise.

Teacher: In your group, write a "description for the senses" of the word I give you.
Group: Okaaaaay.
Teacher (to Heather's group): Your word is 'Lust'.  Who's tackling what sense?
Heather (after much jockeying around): I've got smell.

Minutes later...I'd written four words to describe what Lust smelled like: sweat, wet heat, and monkeys.  Surprisingly, my teacher thought it was great!  Evocative, she said.

But then, I left the fun, carefree bubble of college and entered the real world.  Career, kids, marriage.  Writing came in a distant fifth...sixth, maybe?

Until I began blogging here, oh, about six years ago.  Then, three years ago, I did NaNoWriMo...and well, the rest is history (documented somewhere here on the Internet, no doubt).

People had always said they admire the "voice" I write in.  It's casual, believable, and genuine.  Also, people will comment on how I use humor in my work...and it's true.  It's quite difficult for me to write a wholly serious piece without some humor.  I do really, really wish, though, I'd taken more classes about writing, kept in touch with it during the lean years.  Then, I wouldn't feel like such a noob at times.

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