"All artists are willing to suffer for their work. But why are so few prepared to learn to draw?"
EUREKA! THAT'S IT!
I want you to read this article:
It's a further explanation of Gladwell's 10,000 hours thing. Actually, it came out before, but it took Gladwell to popularize the theory, because he's a much better writer, could it be that all the time he put in at the newspaper made him so?
I'll excerpt the relevant portions:
1. "Or, put another way, expert performers – whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming – are nearly always made, not born.
In other words, don't say you don't have the ability, say you don't have the INCLINATION!
2. "When it comes to choosing a life path, you should do what you love – because if you don't love it, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good. Most people naturally don't like to do things they aren't 'good' at. So they often give up, telling themselves they simply don't possess the talent for math or skiing or the violin. But what they really lack is the desire to be good and to undertake the deliberate practice that would make them better."
The desire to be good. Too many people have the desire to be rich, or famous, ergo the Banksy quote above. They're willing to come to Hollywood and scrape and starve, sleep on mattresses and eat McDonald's, but they're just not willing to practice.
3. "Deliberate practice entails more than simply repeating a task – playing a C-minor scale 100 times, for instance, or hitting tennis serves until your shoulder pops out of its socket. Rather, it involves setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome."
In other words, it's not about world domination, about becoming rich and famous, it's about how well you play your guitar.
We're taught not to believe this, that anyone can make it if you just work hard enough on your art, develop the background and skills necessary. Used to be if the school called and said you screwed up, your parent would berate you. Today, your parent goes to the academy and berates the administrator, says you're perfect and couldn't possibly have broken the code. Huh?
We've taught our children that success is easy, only a motion away, which it isn't. Fame might be, but once the spotlight fades, exactly what is Snooki going to do? No one's going to be paying her the big bucks just to show up. She's going to have to get a job. And she's qualified to do..?
I'd recommend staying in school. And not choosing a career for money, but for love.
And if you want to be exceptional, you've got to spend more time at home woodshedding than auditioning, more time practicing than waiting in line to try out for a TV vocal competition.
Do you think these Silicon Valley wizards just wake up one day, go to Sunnyvale, sleep on floors and then become big successes? No, they code starting in their single digits, and they study math in college, and it's hard, and all those rewards come way down the line. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates may have dropped out of Harvard, but they were computer nerds long before, and in the case of Gates, when almost no one else was!
The Allman Brothers didn't have to tell everyone they were good, they just had to plug in their instruments. That was enough to show everybody, when they started to play.
But that's because Duane Allman was so dedicated to his axe that he even took it to the bathroom.
You're texting, you're networking. Those may get you laid, but they won't make you a good musician.
People are sacrificing and suffering all over the world. That doesn't mean they're ready for the hit parade.
Just because you have a hard life, just because you're willing to forgo the spoils of the middle class, that does not mean you're good.
You're only good if you work at your craft. And that does not mean learning how to play "Stairway To Heaven"…that's just the beginning. How do you get to the point where you know all the notes, have practiced the scales and can come up with something innovative and new that will make our heads turn?
By spending a lot of time picking.