Am I talented enough to be a successful writer?
Dear Literary Ladies,
Sometimes I wonder if I really have what it takes to be a successful writer. The desire is definitely there, but I’m not sure I have the talent. For those of us who don’t feel particularly “gifted,” what hope is there?
I didn’t have any particular gift in my twenties. I didn’t have any exceptional qualities. It was the persistence and the great love of my craft which finally became a discipline, which finally made me a craftsman and a writer.
The only reason I finally was able to say exactly what I felt was because, like a pianist practising, I wrote every day. There was no more than that. There was no studying of writing, there was no literary discipline, there was only the reading and receiving of experience . . .
So I would like to remove from everyone the feeling that writing is something that is only done by a few gifted people . . . You shouldn’t think that someone who achieves fulfillment in writing and a certain art in writing is necessarily a person with unusual gifts. I always said it was an unusual stubborness. Nothing prevented me from doing it every night, after every day’s happenings.
— Anaïs Nin, “The Personal Life Deeply Lived” (from a series of lectures, 1973)