HOW TO: Respect your talent (even without accolades)
WARNING: This is a sensitive topic with me. Be prepared for some bias ranting.
I could be bitter. I could pump hateorade on all ya’ll, but I won’t. I won’t because I need to be the bigger man in this whole ordeal I face on a daily basis. I need to take this thorn in my side and make the best out of it. The best out of this annoying thing in life called “the politics of things,” that once stated seems to make anything that is unfair instantly fair. Here’s how I do it.
1. Know yourself.
Take for example, oh I don’t know… me. I’ve been writing since I can pick up a pen. I wrote my first poem when I was 6. And it was terrible, but I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I wrote my first story when I was 7, AND did my own illustrations and guess what? It was terrible! But I still did it, and that’s the point. Of course I’ve evolved from when I was a child, but that doesn’t mean i’m not good. Don’t let anybody tell you (and don’t let yourself believe) that just because you’ve been doing it for a long time doesn’t mean you’re good. YES IT DOES. YES IT DOES MEAN THAT. I rest my case.
2. Know your audience.
If you’re writing a blog for your marketing teacher don’t write about how advertising and marketing is the bane of your existence. And don’t hyperlink Bill Hicks explaining why advertising and marketing is the devil. Just don’t. I don’t know this from experience… all I know is that you won’t get good marks, or make a decent connection with your teacher. But I don’t know that… Bottom line, don’t write in a voice you yourself can’t connect with. People are gonna tell you’re blowing smoke up their a**.
3. If you don’t win awards, it doesn’t mean they didn’t like your writing.
It just means someone was better than you. And don’t take it to heart. I’ve never won a writing award in my life, and I don’t let that get me down! I just say “they didn’t get it” and pretend that my poetry was too “deep” for them. When really it was just too vulgar and profane. I shouldn’t write about the sex I hear through my paper thin walls. People who write about the moonlight reflecting off the water in the nighttime will always win. ALWAYS. And it’s unfortunate, but there’s nothing you can do about it if you want to stay true to yourself.
4. Don’t write for others, write for yourself.
And write a lot. One day, someone important, who truly understands what’s in your heart will read it and tell you everything you’ve always wanted to hear… naturally. And if that day never comes… then you’re obviously born in the wrong time.
5. Don’t fall under the trap of musicians.
I made the mistake of using Bright Eyes as my template for the majority of my writing since I was young. A muse can be good until you get lost in their voice and can’t find your own anymore. Now I find myself writing about drugs I’ve never done and passing out in apartments I don’t have. Having a muse is good, just remember what you have inside of you; your heart. And it’ll always speak to you.
So if you never get your big break don’t fret, your mom will still be your #1 fan..