Guest post by Brinda Berry: Talent is Cheap


Talent Is Cheap

Stephen King said, “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” From a man who has published 49 books thus far, these words speak for a lot of writing experience combined with more hard work. You may or may not be a Stephen King fan, but the truth of his commercial success lies in the sales numbers, devoted fans, and bestseller list status. I believe what Stephen King says about talent being cheap. It’s abundant out in the world. There are countless writers who craft eloquent and mesmerizing stories…and they never make it. Here’s what I believe to be the magic formula for becoming a successful author: Talent + Hard Work + Opportunity = Success.

Writing is hard work. I’m not just talking about the act of putting words on paper. There is much more to the business than turning a blank page into a great story. Most of the writers I know study craft, write numerous drafts, critique for others, discuss techniques, attend writer meetings, and work a job that pays the bills.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers, The Story of Success, where he talks about the 10,000 hour rule. One of my favorite lines in the book is, “Achievement is talent plus some preparation.” Then Gladwell begins to talk about how small the role of talent is in relation to the bigger role of preparation. In Chapter Two, he mentions the names that we all know: Bill Gates, the Beatles, and Mozart. Gladwell says that research shows us a common component to the success of these individuals. They all worked hard pre-success by practicing for many hours- 10,000 hours at the very least.

Although talent and hard work are necessary in the beginning, you must then find an outlet for the story and people who will travel on the journey with you. Query letter writing and the pursuit of an agent or publisher are a must. This is the best way for opportunity to “drop” into your lap.

I have talked with quite a few people who say, “I’ve written an unpublished book.” The problem is that no one else knows about it. A book stored on your computer is about as useful as singing in the shower. You only did it for the recreation. It fulfilled you in some way. There’s nothing wrong with that if that makes you happy.

If you didn’t write the story purely for the act of writing itself, then you must take the next step and find your opportunity. You can seek opportunity by networking and research. Engage in activities where work can be submitted. The internet makes it impossibly easy to find the people who can guide, advise, critique, and discover you. Believe me when I say that opportunity is out there. The difficult part will be selecting the best resources. You might find that some hard work helps someone discover your talent.

Summer Blog Tour Contest rules:

About the author: Brinda Berry has always loved reading about the
adventures of others. She also believes there’s a little romance in
every story ever told. Brinda lives in Arkansas with her family and a
couple of terribly spoiled cairn terriers.

Her debut YA novel, The Waiting Booth, released on July 15th, can be
found at various online bookstore links:


Barnes & Noble:

All Romance ebooks:

Etopia Press:

Blurb: A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal…

Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High—find her
missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal
into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and
out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents
Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the
mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to
find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to
save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that
he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on
than she thought…and if she was wrong to trust him…

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10 Responses to Guest post by Brinda Berry: Talent is Cheap

  1. Brinda, thanks for being my guest today.

  2. Dusty says:

    Good to see Brinda making the rounds. Haven’t read the book yet, but if she’s half as good at writing as she is at being a great person, Mr. Stephen King better get in line to take some lessons.

    Looking forward to seeing more books published by this author.

  3. DANIELA says:

    Hi Brinda

    *waving at you*
    This was a very interesting guest post :)
    And I agree, to succeed one must work hard, talent is just a great help.

  4. DANIELA says:

    Hi Brinda
    *waving at you*
    This was a very interesting guest post :)
    And I agree, to succeed one must work hard, talent is just a great help.

  5. Heidi M. Thomas says:

    Good advice. There’s nothing like sweat equity! (and a little luck, too)

  6. Karen Cioffi says:

    What a great guest article. I’ve heard many times that it’s not the best writers who succeed, it’s those who persevere.

    If you want to get where you want you must do the work.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Brinda says:

    Margaret- Thank you so much for having me on your blog!
    Dusty- Those are some nice compliments! Stephen King needs no lessons. His book on writing portrays him as a pretty nice guy as well as a great author. :)
    Daniela- *waving back*- It’s always a pleasure to see you. Thanks for stopping by Margaret’s blog.
    Heidi- You are right that one can always use some luck along with the other factors.
    Karen- I agree with your thoughts on perseverance and work. Writers should always keep their chins up and their hands on the keyboard.

  8. Ciara Knight says:

    Hey, my comment isn’t here. :( For some reason many of the comments I left the other day on blogs are missing. I’m not sure what happened.
    Well, I’m a little late but I’m so excited about your book I had to stop by, Brinda. :)

  9. Na says:

    Hi Brinda! I agree, the key to success is a combination of things. Not just talent, but talent with hard work and a lot of luck at an opportune time. When it comes to writing inspiration can be found pretty much anywhere but it is important to put in dedication as well. Before “The Waiting Booth” was accepted and went into the publishing cycle how long would had the manuscript been completed? I know some authors spent years finding the right agent/publisher contract while others found one almost right away weeks of submission.

  10. Brinda says:

    Ciara-Thanks for stopping and reading!

    Na- Thank you for your question. The manuscript was complete around Sept. 2010. I spent approximately six months submitting to agents and publishers. I received a couple of offers in March of 2011.

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