A new week and I’m just off the back of too many hours crosshatching a cartoon that’s really not worth the effort. During the tedious time it takes do fill a space with horizontal, vertical and two kinds of diagonal lines, my mind strayed to thinking about competence. Specifically, I suppose, I got to thinking about my own incompetence and the competence of others.

The simple fact is that I’m constantly staggered by the genius of people. I don’t mean the people who are known to be geniuses – though, saying that, I’m staggered by the unqualified brilliance of Fiona Apple’s new album – but the ordinary people who are so very good at the things they do. Now, of course, that’s not everybody. I look around and see lots of people whose work I don’t like. And here, conversely, I don’t always mean ordinary people but the people who are known to be “geniuses”. There really are some dire people at the top of the various trees.

Simply, there’s a lot of luck involved in any game, whether it’s writing or cartooning or blogging or acting or even being an academic. Some people achieve the heights of success with a modicum of talent whilst others can be supremely good at their hobby whilst working long hours as a bus conductor.

Life isn’t fair. Which, I suppose, is why I carry on. Luck can always play a part, especially if you believe in hard work and getting better at what you practice.

Myself, I couldn’t draw to save my life years ago. These days I can cartoon with a tiny degree of competence but I’m usually a bit disappointed with the results. I can get better. I’m just beginning to worry about how many lifetimes it would take me to get to where I’d like to be.

All of the above was probably a prep talk to myself at the beginning of a new week. I honestly don’t know why I started this blog. Hardly anybody looks in and those that do don’t return. I must remember, though, it’s not about people. It’s about myself.

Sort yourself out, David. Nose to the grindstone. Keep going.

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