Hard Work Takes Over When Talent Runs Out – The Climb #254

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Hard Work Takes Over When Talent Runs Out – The Climb #254

Monday 2nd October 2017

It says a lot about today when the best thing about it was being told just how much you sucked.

A lot of stresses were bringing my mood low today.  I fully expect the next couple of weeks to be similar.  Everything is great and I know that in a couple of weeks things will be back to normal, just that I’m going to have a couple of shitty weeks.  And a lot of it is internalised worries that I can’t really talk to anyone about.  And no, it isn’t book related.

Except that my mood does seem to match that of my character in book 2.  And given how I think I method write, I do wonder if some of this is caused by me getting my head into the character and how he’s feeling right now.

No, I do have some genuine things weighing heavy on my mind right now.  The book stuff is either co-incidental or in addition.

Yet, I continue to function.  I found myself playing a load of sad and depressing songs on Spotify today, only to realise that I wasn’t feeling depressed.  I just need to try and avoid my emotions for a while and keep outwardly smiling.

What did surprise me was the news that I was officially the worst swordfighting student the school has ever had.  Somehow I managed to block this from my memory, but I was told today that I was the only student they have ever failed.  This was back when I started.

Yet instead of adding to my misery, it actually cheered me up.  I’ve often said I had no natural talent for swordfighting, it’s all come from hard work.  It’s interesting as I have progressed to see those who have had talent, see that talent run out and then get frustrated that they seem to have plateaued.  Today I had a world class fighter get frustrated about their fitness.  I think they would like to see the school organise something to help students, but as I learnt some time ago, you have to take ownership of your own training.  You can’t expect it to be handed to you.

It always amazes me how the analogies between swordfighting and writing pair up, and in this case writing is the same.  It’s so easy, whether you are a swordfighter or a writer, to get frustrated by your craft at times.  You want someone to take you and mold you.  You’ll do what they say, follow any instruction, you just want to get good.

But the answer is that you have to own your own training.  At first, it sounds like people washing their hands of you, but the truth is something important. You can’t be a passive participant in your training.  You want perfect answers when in truth there are none.  What might work for one person will not work for you.

Instead, you take any training you can find, whether that be a seminar on swordfighting or a book on how to write, and take the learnings and incorporate them.  Someone following verbatim will never succeed.  Someone who takes the learnings, thinks about them and works out how to adapt them to the way they write or fight… they will make the biggest progress.

It’s why I’m going to be better than this world class fighter.  Because hard work takes over when talent runs out… and I’ve been working hard for 18 months now.

Look at the proof.  3 years ago I was the school’s worst ever fighter.  Now I’m amongst the world’s best.  Talent played no part in that improvement, only taking charge of my own training and putting in the hard work.  18 months ago I said I wanted to do well, and most people were supportive in that way people are to someone they hope will prove them wrong.  Now I tell them I want to win Swordfish and I doubt a single person thinks that isn’t feasible given time.

And whilst some people see improvement and take their foot off the accelerator, I know that it only gets harder as you progress.  But that’s fine…  that’s why I succeed.  That’s why the things I very publicly and accountably said I wanted to achieve have come to pass.  Sure, some people can say it’s arrogance, but I’ve already delivered the impossible and no-one can deny that.  It’s not arrogance when it comes true.

Because talent will only take you so far.  Hard work will take you the entire way.

If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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2017-10-03T21:28:26+01:00October 3rd, 2017|Swordfighting, The Climb, Writing|0 Comments

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