I’m reading an outstanding book about the last years of Ernest Hemmingway’s life: “Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life and Lost.” It’s a terrific read, and in the book, writer Paul Hendrickson tells a story about Hemingway mentoring a younger writer. In the middle of their exchanges, he gave the young writer some interesting advice. He told him the most important thing is to write, and talent (if you have it) will come later.
It’s a great point for any serious artist. Don’t wait until you feel confident. Don’t wait for affirmation from others. Don’t wait until you feel you have enough talent. Just start, and the talent comes later. I was with a young couple recently who told me they really wanted to have children, but they decided to wait until they were more stable and had a better income. My response was that they’ll never feel stable enough or well off enough to have kids. You just have to go ahead and start.
Writing, filmmaking, ministry, business, and everything else is covered by Hemingway’s rule. Start writing, filming, singing, creating – whatever it is, just start. Then, if you have it, talent will come.
Get back to your desk and start.
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