findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing…

Happenstance Is the Result of Hard Work and Talent

We’re starting to get a little bit infected with Football World Cup fever here in our household (although normally we are not huge football fans). On the radio, we hear more and more music from previous World Cups. One of my favourite football-related pieces of music is the Nike advert for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan. Shot in studios in Rome, the advert was directed by Terry Gilliam and featured some of the best footballers in the world (at the time). You may remember it for its gritty backdrop (a cargo ship with cages) a ruthless ‘first goal wins’ rule overseen by Eric Cantona, something of a prison atmosphere and yet an explosive, exuberant joy, and, above all, the glorious remix of the Elvis song ‘A Little Less Conversation’.

It’s one of those rare examples when everything about the advertising campaign works: it’s catchy, memorable, uplifting. Happenstance? Or careful years of planning by Nike and the Wieden & Kennedy agency (Amsterdam)? Spontaneous burst of genius or a patient accumulation of talent and experience? Or perhaps both?

So what I’m trying to say is that when things seem to come together effortlessly, in a practically perfect product (or book or film or stage production), there is usually a huge amount of work and talent peeking out a barely visible head just above the horizon.

I think I know this. And still I wait at times for inspiration to strike. But I’ve learnt to treat my blog posts and book reviews as additional writing practice, my poetry as a legitimate form of expression instead of just procrastination and my reading… well, I read like a writer. Or so I tell myself.

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8 thoughts on “Happenstance Is the Result of Hard Work and Talent

  1. No doubt about it, Marina Sofia. Serendipity happens when you work hard, have skills, hone those skills and keep your eyes open for the chance to make use of the opportunities that come your way.

    • I was comparing this with other advertising campaigns that also had a lot of money thrown at them, celebrities, clever slogans etc. and which doesn’t didn’t work as well. It really is about getting all the details right and about combining them all perfectly, but then there is that element of ‘magic wand’, which is why it’s so hard to replicate such a success.

  2. Luck is a long shot but if you want to be lucky, you have to prepare yourself so that when the opportunity strikes, you are ready for it ~ I believe hard work and preparing yourself to reach your goal, will get you there eventuality ~

    Hope you are well, smiles ~

    • What’s that famous quote: ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get’? Of course, it does feel magical when all the elements are in place and work beautifully together, but that seldom happens without preparation.

  3. I agree effortlessness does not exist, there is always a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

  4. Whenever something looks effortless, I think about how much work it took for it to look that way. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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