I don’t really think that I’m a giftless hack (or “giffles shack,” as I’ve come to call it). Or… I know I’m not a hack - hacks don’t care; hacks don’t think; hacks don’t work hard. I care about the work. And I bust my ass. I think… about as well as I can. And I don’t give a shit whether I’m “gifted” or not. I don’t really even know what that means or how it matters. It’s not what you’re born with much as it is what you make of it. John Irving purports to be without natural talent. He’s done all right.
Kelly Sue DeConnick in her post, Giffles Shack. Not to butt into a really important post and you really should read all of it, but there is something (somethings) I’d like to respond to: One, John Irving is dyslexic, and that should say a lot about his level of commitment to succeed as a writer, as well as the inarguable fact that he is one of the best living novelists today. Two, and not as a lesson to you KS, but for others who may be interested in this post, there is something I’ve been saying a lot to some of my students these last two weeks teaching freshman composition who doubt their abilities and work ethic. That is: Doing the work and pushing yourself gets you into extraordinary circumstances, and you wouldn’t have a particular job or be in a class if the people who put you in that class didn’t believe that you could handle it. For me, showing that you’re willing to do the work means a lot more than whether you’re gifted.