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  • Writer's pictureJudy

Oct. 31, 2021: Talent, Motivation, and Attitude

"Your talent determines what you can do.

Your motivation determines what you are willing to do.

Your attitude determines how well you do it."

Lou Holtz.

I have always loved this quote by Lou Holtz. Talent, motivation, and attitude. No one can argue with the importance of each of them in our lives and in our success.

As writers, focusing on just these three things can be extremely powerful.


- While many believe that talent is something you either have or you don’t, there is now a plethora of research out there that supports the hypothesis that talent can be taught, learned, and nurtured. It can be strengthened. It can grow. It will require work, but it can absolutely be something that you can invest your time and energy in and see concrete results.

- As a writer, to grow in your talent, you must be willing to take classes, attend workshops, get feedback, and practice, practice, practice. You must also become a prolific reader. Because to excel in anything, you must be able to recognize perfection. The perfect swing in golf; the perfect serve in tennis; the perfect chocolate soufflé. And in order to recognize perfection, you need to study the writing of others. We do that by reading. A lot.

- The training and practice you put into your skills as a writer, translate into your talent and what you are capable of producing.


- How badly do you want it? And by it I mean whatever you have determined your benchmark for success to be. Do you BELIEVE?

- How much are you really willing to do to reach that goal? Send out queries? Ten or twenty? Are you willing to send out hundreds, if necessary? After that draft is finally done, are you willing to now invest the hours needed to revise the manuscript?

- Part of motivation is also being willing to not only put in the work, but to endure on the path. Perseverance. Sticking to it. Being willing to look at the big picture.

- Shortcuts always short change your work. The motivation to do it right, will absolutely move you closer to your goals.


- This is that critical Growth Mindset. Do you have an attitude that serves you when you encounter challenges and obstacles? Or does your positive attitude evaporate when rejection or failure rears its ugly head?

- Are you willing to learn from criticism? Do you persist when faced with setbacks? Do you take ownership of your actions and work to eliminate mediocrity?

- Having a positive attitude is more than just viewing things optimistically. It is relying on a way of thinking that allows you to deal with stress, disappointment, and difficulties without losing sight of your goals and your belief in yourself.

To all my writing friends and colleagues out there- you have the talent, motivation, and attitude! Celebrate them!

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