May 4, 2009

Practice | Perfection

My mother recently sent me a column article by The New York Times' David Brooks concerning the notion of Genius. I have written (in response to Elizabeth Gilbert) about the idea of genius as a visitor rather than something that is a part of you (which relates to ancient Greek philosophy). Brooks makes the point that it is actually hours upon hours of practice paired with a diligent mentor that makes a genius. He cites the examples of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the golfer Tiger Woods, who both dedicate(d) their lives to perfecting their techniques and being presided over by their stringent fathers.

My mom said the article reminded her of me because Brooks talked about the idea of a young female writer who perfects her skill after hours upon hours of practice, dictated primarily through a mentor who provided regular criticism to shape her writing. She encouraged me to write more often, which I am trying to do through this blog. As I mentioned recently, I'm not sure if my dream of being a writer will happen (right now I feel quite out of shape), but I do know that I must believe in the idea. I will strive every day to perfect my craft. I do not aspire to become a genius, but I do hope that one day I can be a writer for a living, bringing meaning to my work. That is my new goal: to find that purpose so that I am not constantly tuning out of my duties and waiting for the day to end. That is no way to live a life. I have been given too much by those that love me to do them the disservice of wasting my life in a place that I cannot take seriously and that constantly makes me feel less than I am. Therefore, I must practice in the hopes of contriving the genius of a new path in my life.

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