- A healthy dash of courage (to ignore the naysayers who insist on telling you the odds against your success)
- A heaping scoop of willpower (to keep your rear-end in the chair and off Facebook)
- A generous spoonful of stubbornness (to keep working on a project even on the days you think it stinks)
- A dash of luck (it never hurts)
- A liberal sprinkling of talent
That said, there are several good reasons why people don't take talent too seriously:
- If you don't try, you'll never know if you're talented or not.
- Even with all the natural talent in the world, you'll never be great without the work. Michael Jordan wouldn't be who he is if he'd never gotten off the couch.
- When it comes to writing, you don't necessarily have to be *great*. You have to be readable. And marketable. And willing to hustle.
The other secret that few mention is that as soon as you get your book deal (or make then NBA, or get accepted to med school...) is that the laundry still piles up and the world keeps on turning. No laundry fairies, dammit all.
I don't want you all to think I'm jaded or in any way less than elated with my success. If anything, the fact that my life hasn't changed is reassuring. As though professional writing can inherently be a part of me without changing who I am. And that, my friends, is priceless.