I was delighted today to receive a book, The Little Book of Talent, as a gift from ACE. I know it will be valuable to study the phenomenon of talent, partly for my own ongoing personal development, partly for applications of the wisdom that I might find as a parent to my daughter Mary, and partly for the insight it will give me into the work that goes on at Notre Dame and ACE. So far, I have only browsed through the book, which is written by a Domer named Daniel Coyle, but I feel I can already recommend it as a thought-provoker. I love to be prodded to think about my 56 years of life in new ways, through different lenses. It’s the only way we writers can keep our content fresh, our imaginations lively, our audiences attended to.
Here’s one thing for all of us to remember. Coyle talks about developing talents through regular, repeated, intense practice of skills. Talent, he reminds us, is not just some God-given gift that we can magically make full use of. Talent is inspiration and perspiration. Writing should be done constantly–ideally, in generating content for an array of different media, on an array of different subjects, with various styles, on various deadlines, for various audiences. This is what builds the talent. I am blessed that this is the kind of writing I have gotten to do at ACE–and, for a full ten years, at Notre Dame.
Yep, this is a book that I’m going to do a lot reading in, thinking about, and building upon.