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From one of K's posts to Nicki's most recent JournalScape entry:

Most wannabes, though, study the craft and work hard, in hopes of becoming good at it.

It's a very good comment. Everyone I've ever known who's good at something started out as a wannabe. Everyone.

When I was little, very little, I started dancing. Ballet, tap, jazz...but I didn't really have a passion for any of it, so years later, I stopped. When I was seventeen or so, I started dancing again. Not with as much diligence as I could have, though, so I didn't really progress. However, I showed talent, which is the root of everything that anyone is good at. A few years passed, and I took up dance again like a mad-woman. I'm now pretty much obsessed with it (as most of my fellow dancers are) and I study at least an hour a day. Most days, much more.

When I first started in my style of dance, there was a woman in my class that lacked the understanding of even the most basic of rhythms, and the most basic ways she could make her body move. She didn't last. My teacher, while nurturing those of us who show promise, is also a veritable drill sergeant. If we get something wrong, she will hammer it in to us, because that's the only way we'll ever reach our full potentials. Because some people simply do not have the ability to do what I do, and do it well, my class is down to two people.

I can't really say that I know a ton about the writing process, or the editing process, or anything like that. I occasionally write flash fiction and poetry, but I do it for myself, because I know that I don't possess the talent to become a published author. However, if it's anything like any other art, be it painting, photography, or even dance, I know I can speak on talent.

When I watch a good dancer, like Rachel Brice, I am captivated. I am lost in her art while witnessing it. I can feel her passion coming through in her dance. I have the utmost respect for her determination to perfect her art. I feel the same way when I look at an amazing painting. And, most certainly, I feel the same way when I read a wonderful story.

Nick, you don't have it. Period. It's like, in dance, anyone can technically learn the mechanics of the movements, but their level of talent will dictate whether or not they're any good at it. Just like anyone can type a bunch of words. That doesn't make them a story writer. And it certainly doesn't make them a good one.

Yes, Nick, you have passion, but that's all you have. Passion is great, but passion without talent is empty. It'll never get you anything.

Someday, with any luck, you'll get this.

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