The Attack On Talent

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

 

By Emily Cozzens

 

There is a covert attack on talent that newbies and aspiring artists will discover as they break into their craft. It’s a parasite. I find it clinging to me when I hear the praise for my developing knack of writing. It disguises itself as humility.

Somehow, we think we’re terrible when we’re told we’re great. In a desperate attempt to keep our chests from puffing with pride, we supress reality.

Compliments are a challenge to accept. We know our mistakes in what we produce, and therefore our product is not up to the standard we perceive to be the standard the world wants. (Honestly, the world doesn’t really know what it wants.) We’re praised anyway, even with the small flaws glaring in our faces. But your fans don’t know where you went wrong. So they compliment you, but you fumble with an acceptance speech and end up with a hybrid mashup somewhere between, “Thank you” and “It was terrible, and I don’t understand how that thought could cross your mind.”

Chances are, though, they complimented you because they truly enjoyed what you presented 95 percent of the time. And the other 5 percent? They were probably asking questions worth asking.

Granted, there are empty compliments thrown around all the time, everywhere. Sometimes they hurt, when we see that somehow, our readers couldn’t find what seemed obvious to us, or didn’t take the time to really scrutinize what we presented.

But empty compliments do not mean that your craft is a waste of time, or terrible. Not at all. After seeing both sides of this equation, I’ve seen where the empty compliments originate. You’re not going to find any sort of compliment coming from a person who wants to tear you down.

There’s always going to be that person in your life that cannot seem to voice the good they see. The cynical, critical, pessimistic soul that always has something to say to you. “You’re doing it wrong.”

And there will always be that person in your life, so sweet and gentle, and scared of breaking your heart with any kind of feedback that’s less than positive.

When presenting your craft, your biggest challenge will be overcoming your own perception of what you’ve produced. You are your worst enemy when it comes to recognizing the merit of your product. This will spell the difference between getting a story published, or even making it out of your closet.

Earlier, I said that our little parasite disguises itself as humility. Of course, this article may not even make it into Kingdom Pen because of my lack of ability to write concisely, and stay on topic.

Ouch.

That parasite bit again. This is what we fight.

[Read more…]

Unbroken

“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.” John 14:1

 

By Sarah Spradlin

Deep in a warm and welcoming forest,

amidst the stone walls of a great fortress,

there dwells a heart not untouched,

but rather unbroken.

 

The heart, you see,

is scarred and hurt.

The heart has weaknesses and pain

that no others have seen.

But do not ask the heart for details;

it will not answer but to say:

“I am forgiven,

and so I, too, shall forgive.”

 

No, the heart realized early on

that, as with all in-looking,

you learn little

from staring at the reflection

and rather focused its efforts

on those without.

 

Those without love.

Those without hope.

Those without dreams.

 

For the heart cared for all,

and was, after every wrong thing done,

still troubled when those around it cried,

still anxious when those around it screamed,

still angry when those around it were abused.

 

There are few left in the world,

like the gentle heart

that saw the miscreants in their flamboyance

and still believed in redemption.

[Read more…]

Profile photo of Sarah Spradlin
If you’ve ever emailed us at KP, you’ve probably “met” Sarah—a passionate storyteller with a huge heart that loves Jesus and everyone she meets. Sarah grew up in Georgia with her mom, dad, and little sister, Merry, where she attends the University of Georgia, majoring in International Affairs and Agriculture Communication. When she graduates, Sarah wants to help people all over the world succeed in the agriculture industry and tell the all-important story of the farmer. She joined the Kingdom Pen Team as Secretary in September 2013 and now serves as the Director of Community Happiness. Sarah has been homeschooled, private-schooled, and graduated from Madison County High School in May 2015. She attended Summit in July 2015. She’ll read pretty much anything (if she had to pick, though, her favorite author would be Frank Peretti) and has tried her hand at pretty much every kind of writing out there, though she likes writing fiction and poetry best. But because writing bios is a struggle, if you really want to get to know Sarah, shove some words in her general direction via the Forum, on one of the many social medias down below, or through the KP e-mail: kingdompenmag@gmail.com.