I’ve been slightly troubled since reading Speaker7‘s variety show post.  Not so troubled that I can’t sleep or eat, mind you.  More like a deep, hmmmmm vibrating in my brain.  I thought, if I had to be in a variety show, what sort of talent(s) could I bring to the table?  Juggle flaming swords?  Nope.  Clog dance?  Not a bit.  Pull yards of colorful scarves from my mouth while appearing bewildered as to how I ate a sari and not realized it?  Not a chance.  I thought about it some more.  I must have some sort of talent.

Within eighteen seconds, I determined that I am, most definitely, without talent.  I can peel an apple so that the skin is one long, elegant spiral.  I wouldn’t call it a talent, but my daughter thinks it’s cool.  I mean, she’s only three, but still…  I’m trying to work with what I have here.  I consistently cook perfect bacon, which might not fall under the “talent” category, but it’s a skill that will make me shine if I reboot my stuck-in-purgatory match.com profile.  And, when the mood strikes, I can pen a half-way decent poem.

When I was young, I could do everything and do it well.  I was a fine dancer and gymnast.  I could act and belt out a tune.  I played musical instruments and I was an excellent artist.  I could also write, spending hours upon hours writing and putting together scenes for the Barbie plays I would force my parents to watch or writing/organizing/directing plays and musicals for our holiday family get-togethers.  I was, quite frankly, one brilliant ball of creativity.

The beginning of my talented childhood.

So what in the hell happened?  Did I blow all of my talent credits during my childhood?

Or is the real question (since I can’t fix or change the fact that I’ve been without talent for nearly a few decades now): do any of these gifts still quietly slumber within my bones, waiting for the day I awaken them?  If I began to regularly practice one or more of my childhood abilities with utmost dedication, would my habit reawaken my talent?  One would think that, if I actually possessed talent to begin with (because it’s unlikely I was truly talented in all mentioned above), then it would once again blossom.

One would think.

Or is it too late?  Did I squander opportunities and now my only claim is Most Excellent Bacon Cook?  Am I too old now?  Are we ever too old?

I don’t think so, but there are nights when, after working all day and cooking and cleaning and exercising and scrubbing down the kid and playing rounds of Candyland and Chutes & Ladders and Play-Doh and finally convincing my stubborn child that she needs to sleep, I am exhausted.  After the child is in bed, I sit down to revise scenes or fine-tune dialogue in my screenplay and I quite literally fall asleep during the process.  I don’t feel like a spring chicken.

Perhaps I’ll never recapture the talents of my youth, which is fine because I no longer contain passion for the same activities.  However, I can carry on with my current project, squeezing in writing sessions while the girl amuses herself with her allotted Leapster GS game time or as I drown in my morning coffee, and hope that the scraps of scenes will create entertaining sequences, and those sequences will eventually fuse into an engaging screenplay.  Then I will repeat the process to finish my novel.  Then I will move on to the next few outlines that patiently await in my bedside chest.  I will likely be eighty years old at that point.

I might never have a work of genius, but I can practice until I am able to write a solid, charming story.  I think it’s a perfectly reasonable goal.

Until then, I can dazzle people with perfectly cooked bacon.


8 thoughts on “Talentless

  1. Perfectly cooked bacon is nothing to sneeze at, so says someone who cannot cook bacon perfectly. If I could do that, that is what I would showcase in the variety show. I think the audience would enjoy that more than my plan to watch TV.


  2. I spend way too much time analyzing this exact subject and how it applies to my own life. I grow tired of hearing my own voice say “hey, get over it,” so you can imagine my relief to know at least I’m not alone!

    Enjoying your blog. Thanks.


  3. Mmmm bacon. Bacon is good. As is your goal of doing what you can when you can until you have a story you’re happy with. Why do any of us write after all? Sure, it’s to be fabulously wealthy and never again have to sit in someone else’s office for 8 hours a day… but back in the real world… Life gets in the way of writing unless you’re prepared to sit in a filthy hovel with unfed children (or cats in my case), no friends, no heating and nothing to eat beyond the odd scrap of bacon raked out from under the fridge. But as long as you find even a few moments every week (I wouldn’t be so ambitious as to propose every day) to do something you love, then you’re still living the dream in my book.


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