Why ‘unique ability’ is so important for writers

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This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help other writers. Today I discuss a blog post by Steven Pressfield…..

As a longtime fan of Steven Pressfield’s book The War of Art (if you’ve ever struggled with doubt about your writing, read this book), I’ve recently taken to reviewing Pressfield’s blog on writing. His post last week, headlined “Frank Sinatra Does Not Move Pianos,” struck me as one of the most thoughtful reflections on creative work that I’ve seen in the last year.

The post focused on the concept of “unique ability” — that is, that thing you’re so good at, that singular talent that only you can provide. Pressfield encouraged writers to identify this quality in themselves and work to take advantage of it, in much the same way that Frank Sinatra focused on his singing (and didn’t bother moving pianos.)

Here is how Pressfield put it:

In many ways your job as a writer or an artist is to find out what your unique ability is and then organize your day, your month, and your year in such a way that you maximize your time exercising your unique ability and minimize or outsource everything else.

This post started me thinking about my own “unique abilities” and I think it will do the same for you. Read his entire inspirational post, here.