Talent Is NOT Overrated
February 12, 2017
“Talent is overrated.” Such is what certain insiders say.
“So long as the concept is catchy enough, people will come to pay.
It makes no difference how stupid, forced, contrite, or insincere
A story is, so long as it brings us the dough we hold so dear.”
“I’m sorry…what?” I demand in the face of such BS,
For talent indeed means something, so allow me to address
This point in this poem for the sake of encouraging
Ambitious, intelligent authors to at last seek their chance to sing
As well as publishers everywhere to give these folks the chance
The fame and fortune that others ‘fore them have gotten from the dance,
Be said prize deserved or not, for these days, more than ever,
Folks deserve to read material that’s bound to last forever.
So talent’s overrated? Then what can you really expect
When folks pay for, read, and have their brains befouled by some hack’s dreck
And discover the hard way just how sloppy it’d been thrown together
And that it can’t hold a candle to the greats in any kind of weather?
What do you say when shock value’s the only “merit” upon which
Said story can stand itself? Can you really praise it without a twitch
Of your lips or nose or eyelids, or will you end up giving away
The objective truth that said work never should’ve seen the light of day?
Now let me tell you what you can gain from a book that’s well-written:
A tale that can stand strong ‘gainst the competition and leave folks smitten
With characters worth investing in, a plot that can last through the ages,
And a feeling of satisfaction once one’s done flipping through the pages—
That is until years pass and one feels compelled to read it again
And the tale ends up being every bit as good as it did back then.
Not only that, but word of mouth and recognition can spread
Like wildfire about such genuinely good stuff until it’s been read
By the masses far and wide who, in turn, will sing its praises
Of the work year after year ‘til its legend lasts throughout the ages,
Which eventually leads to more copies sold and hence cash earned
For author, agent, and publisher alike, leaving to be burned
Only the fools who can’t write and any agent dumb enough
To scoff at the one work’s writer and claim it hasn’t the stuff.
Many is, after all, the agent who hasn’t the brains or the spine
To support that which has value in these messy , troubled times
Who’s time and again turned down such stuff for irredeemable crap
To sell to publishers so that said suits could have cash in their laps
From feeding the desperate masses whatever they could shovel out,
Which in turn has dulled the masses’ senses and made them mindless clouts
While those who’ve demanded better for so long have been made to starve
Or to look elsewhere to sate their hunger and avoid the barbs
Of the tainted crap that’s had no talent or love put into it.
Now, tell me: When it comes to change, don’t you see the world as fit?
Because if you ask me, then yes, the industry must change.
For too long have we been fed crap. Things must be rearranged.
Talent is not overrated. Stop shoving that mantra down
Our throats because at this point, we need more talent to go around,
And not just talent, either, but also effort and love—
The kind of passion that fits talent like a hand in a glove
And has made many a classic in every industry you can name.
It’s a tried-and-true method from the past that surely can do the same
In this era, should we all at least try to make the effort to
Promote the works of talented writers to be read by me and you.