Daily Dojo

“Dreams On Spec” - Alex speaks

In keeping with the theme this week on screenwriting, Alex over at Complications Ensue has been discussing a film called DREAMS ON SPEC that I’ve been following with interest.

I suggest y’all go check it out, it’s a good read - in particular I found this observation very valuable:

I read recently about a study of classical musicians. They asked teachers who were their most gifted students and who were not. They caught up with the musicians ten years later to see which were successful.

No correlation with their teachers’ rating of their talent.

100% correlation with how much time they practiced.

But Joe’s been writing for twenty years, so why does he still suck?

I think it’s possible that talent is not what we think it is. It may not be some innate ability to write well, which only needs to be honed. It might be the ability to hear criticism and respond to it. Talent may be above all the ability to listen.

Thing is, you almost always know when you’re not listening. You just don’t want to hear what you’re hearing. So you shut it out.

I agree with his point, Talent may be the ability to listen, above all else.

One Response to “ “Dreams On Spec” - Alex speaks”

  1. Adam Says:

    The NYTimes has a great article on talent in its various forms, and the way in which it is best cultivated: through “deliberate practice”.

    Deliberate practice entails more than simply repeating a task — playing a C-minor scale 100 times, for instance, or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket. Rather, it involves setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.

    … the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated. Or, put another way, expert performers — whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming — are nearly always made, not born. And yes, practice does make perfect. These may be the sort of clichés that parents are fond of whispering to their children. But these particular clichés just happen to be true.

    … Ericsson’s research suggests a third cliché as well: when it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love — because if you don’t love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don’t like to do things they aren’t “good” at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don’t possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better.


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