Thursday, October 30, 2008

WC: Delusion vs Inspiration

I'm reading Steve Martin's fascinating book, Born Standing Up, and I am once again struck by the fact that hard work can trump talent and skill--and can even lead to talent and skill. At one point Martin says something along the lines of, "Since I had no talent, it was lucky that I was obsessive."

Later in the book, reflecting on a youthful announcement that his act was going "to go avant-garde," he says:

I'm not sure what I meant, but I wanted to use the lingo, and it was seductive to make these pronouncements. Through the years, I have learned that there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.

Personally, I didn't understand the importance of hard work until I was well into my 30s, and even now I battle with resistance and sloth. And I play mind games with myself. For example, I'll tell myself, "It's okay that I didn't work on my screenplay since I've been so busy with my freelance project." Well, that's probably physically, emotionally, and morally true, but it doesn't get the screenplay written!

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