It’s a little ridiculous when you think about it. I want to be a writer, but I haven’t picked up the book I’m halfway through in about 3 weeks. It’s like an artist never going to an art show. Or a sales person never practicing a sales pitch.
It’s arrogant to think we can create something without ever seeing what the world is creating, too. Some people think they can’t expose themselves to what’s “out there” because then their work won’t be as “pure.”
My response to that is: What?
That makes zero sense. Zero. None. Nada.
You can hide under a rock all day long and still write something that’s similar to what someone else has already done. I worked on a book for years and when I was done, a TV show with a similar concept came out. Any time I was explaining my book to someone, I felt like I had to defend myself. I had never seen the commercials. I swore it was nothing like the show.
Truthfully, I don’t think anyone really cared. If people watch the show and read my book, they’ll see it’s different. But why do I have to defend myself when I’m not even in an argument?
In the end, there is no raw material. I can’t write anything that doesn’t have ties to something else. I’m okay with that. It’s not like this limitation is set on me alone.
You can argue with me about it if you want. I think people today are more concerned with being unique and different than just producing something good that people will enjoy. There is nothing wrong with being unique and different, but if it comes at the expense of your humility, then it’s probably better you tone it down a bit.
For example: blogs. Everyone loves a good blog. But no one loves a good blog if the blogger thinks they are the best thing to ever grace WordPress. If you write, and you write well, and you entertain your audience however it is you entertain them, then good for you. If your whole focus is to show how special you are, people are going to notice, and not in a good way.
So my takeaway for today is to be yourself, but don’t be arrogant about it. And don’t freak out if you realize that your sketch looks a little like the Mona Lisa. You’re not the first that’s happened to, and you surely won’t be the last.
Perfect song for a day like today: