Practice makes perfect. But does it?
I adore singing. I have been doing it for probably as long as I have been able to talk. When I was in primary school, I joined the school choir along with almost everyone else in my class that year. I loved it. I did not mind getting out of class twice a week to practice either. I would sing my heart out. In middle school and high school, I carried on being in the choir. With less people joining, it started to be clear who were the real talented singers. What else became clear was that I was not one of them, despite years of practice, I was never meant to be a talented singer. My choir teacher said that what I lacked in natural talent I made up for in enthusiasm. He was a very kind man and never let my lack of talent get in the way of my desire to carry on as part of the choir.
The whole point of the above rant is that practice does not really make perfect. If someone has natural talent, it certainly can improve his or her skills but it will never make someone without any talent become great. I am still a great advocate of practising something if doing it brings someone joy even if the person does not show a particular talent for it
Faking – to present as authentic or genuine
Talent – a natural aptitude or skill
Based on the two definitions above it is impossible to fake having talent since talent is something one is born with, a true natural gift. Therefore, talent is something that can never be acquired. This brings me back to the notion of practice makes perfect. You just cannot fake talent no matter how much you practice.
I think this holds true for writing too. I read everything from product packages to novels. Some writers just have much more natural talent than others. Their words flow so smoothly, their ideas are clear and concise. Practice may help them hone their skill but writing is truly a natural gift for them. I have a few blogger friends that I put into this category.
Lately though, I have been reading many novels by authors (often series of them) where I do not perceive the writer as having natural talent. I will call these writers charisma writers. They are writers who have come up with a catchy idea for a book, written it, and then spent hours working to edit it. It has then been fed into the market and slid nicely into a niche. These writers probably worked harder than those with natural talent to get their books out there in the world. They probably needed more support from editors and publishers to help them get their books ready but in the end, they did it.
This has led me to wonder more about what makes a good book. Is it the skill of the writer, is it the idea behind the book, is it the market trend at the time, or is it a magical combination of various things? What do you think?