This month's Write Tea guest, Ashley Lee Williams, has been a writer for a very long time. But, she hasn't just been writing long, in a professional sense, she's been a writer for most of her life. In out Write Tea interview, Ashley talked about writing a book as a small child. A whole book. What an amazing feat for a person so young. Not only did Ashley have the passion, at such a young age, she also has the ability to compose her thoughts in a literary form.
Ashley's lengthy writing practice got me thinking about the width of a great writer's writing life. It made me think about the amount of time one needs to give to their passion to truly be great at it, and when that self-training begins. There are dance classes and gymnastics classes available for my 2 year old. But, how long will she have to train, and for how much time, until she's on the level of a Simone Biles or Misty Copeland? Who knows. I don't think the specifics of that can be measured. But, to be great at something takes a significant amount of work.
The people who can justifiably label themselves excellent have all honed their craft since they were very young. There really is no such thing as an over night sensation. Even the young pop stars who seem to appear out of nowhere, have spent many a night in their bedrooms plucking away at the guitar strings, perfecting powerful vocal riffs, and sharpening signature stage moves.
So, I advise every young person, with big dreams, to consider the lengthy careers of our talented Write Tea guests when they are discouraged by the process. Excellence takes time. And the reward is well earned success.