It’s Thursday! Grab your boots and cowboy hat, it’s time to rustle up some motivation for your writerly goals!
I’ve talked about the Impostor Syndrome before. I’ve talked about many things, but I don’t think I’ve ever really touched on the particular jealous notion that is “But I’ll never be as good as *person I idolize*”.
So today, it’s time to talk about that very subject. There are always going to be people in your creative field or fields that you aspire to be like, or to be as good as. Probably you won’t ever quite make it up to their level. That’s perfectly okay! There’s no reason to beat yourself up over not being the absolute best at the thing you love, or that you want to make you money.
Maybe you like Gaiman. Maybe you like King. Maybe you think Rowling is the top notchiest author of them all. Maybe you’re enamored of Bret Easton Ellis, or Palahniuk, or the classically-revered authors of the past. And you know you could never write a line of prose as good as them, or plot a mystery as fun and varied. Or maybe you will never scare someone with what you’ve written quite as much as he did. Maybe you can’t evoke the imagery or the character relationships that he and she can.
That doesn’t mean you might as well give up. All of them have one thing in common and it’s that they put in the work. They suffered to get where they are today. You can’t paint a masterpiece without hundreds or thousands of hours of practice, and you can’t write a masterpiece in the same way.
You can’t code groundbreaking software if you don’t know how to code and the only way to really learn how to code is to get in there and start coding.
Same premise is true here! Put in the time, learn from your mistakes, take what other people tell you and learn from it. Find what works for you. Find what doesn’t.
And maybe, somewhere along the way, you’ll realize you don’t need to be as good at being Stephen King as King himself is. You can’t be as good as another author at their particular thing. You should be the best at being yourself. You should be the best at your personal style.
Maybe you’ll never be revered like they are, but if you work at it long enough and hard enough, learn enough as you go, and keep improving upon the kind of writer you want to be, eventually you will be that writer. It won’t be Rowling, or King, or Sanderson, or Harper Lee, or Chaucer, or Shakespeare, but it’ll damn sure be YOU.
And just what the hell is wrong with that, anyway?
Be yourself, but be the best version of yourself you can be, and always remember to write the hell on.