“Everybody is special”
“Everyone is unique”.
If that really is the case, then I mean technically we’re all the same. So in our “uniqueness”, we’re creating an almost paradoxical realization that we’re actually all the same. These are just random, nonsensical thoughts that I’m sure anyone can unravel and call me out on, but personally I believe most people are born average and will be nothing more, nor less – regardless of being told how “special” or “talented” they are. I’m certainly not absolving myself for this, don’t get me wrong.
Of course, there are exceptions to my theory – the Michael Jordans, Cristiano Ronaldos, Stephen Kings, Steven Spielbergs and others. They stand out and have stood out in their fields, even when held up against millions of other people.
So sure, you might be “good” at cricket, but how many millions of others out there are better than you? So are you really that good? Or are you comparing yourself to a small pool of competitors.
Take myself for example. Not to toot my own horn, but some people (mainly my mom) say I’m a good writer. These articles I write aren’t awesome – it’s something new I’m trying. My real love for writing is horror stories, stemming from my obsession with R.L. Stine and later on Stephen King at a young age. Sometimes I read my horror stories and think – why the hell aren’t these being published to the mainstream or being made into movies? It doesn’t help that (although I love it and appreciate it) people will read my stories and express how scary and well written they are. Then I sit back and think of ANY Stephen King book and realize my best writing can’t even come close to something he would scribble on a napkin.
But then I get odd glimpses that MAYBE, I COULD be “special” with my writing. And I’ll tell you why.
There’s a WIKI page called Creepy Pasta which has produced some phenomenal urban legends and ghost stories such as Spender Man and The Russian Sleep Experiment (the second mentioned being an absolute treat if you like Horror).
Anyway, I posted a few of my stories to this EXTREMELY popular website. Some of my writing which I thought was pretty good. I can remember 2 off the top of my head – “The Boy Who Liked Blood”, and “Meet The Collector”. I’m 99% sure those reading this don’t follow my other blog where all these stories are. If you’re interested, its here on wordpress as “DailyFlapjack”.
I divert. These 2 stories were put in an archive of thousands and thousands of other self published stories. Millions maybe. I don’t know. But there’s a lot of other stories. And the way in which it works is it becomes like a menu listed alphabetically. So the chances of people reading your story are minuscule. But somehow, those 2 stories of mine were being read by numerous people. Imagine how great that felt. Seeing the views on my stories getting likes and comments when they were virtually a needle in a haystack amongst the seas of other stories. People LOVED “Meet The Collector”, with people giving it a 10/10 rating and leaving very positive comments such as (and I will include the FULL comment, copy and pasted, just to gloat and show you the positivity I received):
“10/10 One of the best pasta’s I’ve read in weeks (and i read a LOT). For me this is the apex of creepiness; basically nothing really happens, it’s 99% ancticipation but it is so well written that i actually started to sweat at some point. I loved it from beginning to end (thank you so much for not ending with some stupid twist like so many people do) but i have to highlight 2 sentences that really stuck out for me.
“My heart was pounding in my chest so hard it felt as though it thought it could break free from my chest and escape, thus saving itself – but no, we were in this together.”
“The moonlight proceeded to shine on my .50 Desert Eagle, illuminating it as though to assure me that it was indeed the answer to my current predicament.”
Absolutely brilliant!” ~ end of quote.
Not too shabby for a complete amateur right?
Unfortunately the other story was basically about a guy committing suicide, so that was ragged in the comments with people calling it disgusting and insensitive, eventually leading to the page administrators giving me a warning and deleting my story. But that “negative” criticism was positive. It had grossed out and disturbed people, which I had set out to do. So in my eyes, both my stories were successful. Now do you understand WHY I thought, “maybe I can be as great as Stephen King”.
As I’ve stated, this is really just a collection of thoughts. A rant of sorts, if I may. The whole premise of me giving myself as an analogy is to show you how small things can trick us into believing we might actually be destined for greatness. And hell, maybe we are with persistence and the right attitude. But that leads to the question – how do those with talent get to the pinnacle of their profession? How can I be the next Horror Story God, like Stephen King? With numerous comments like the one I quoted, one would expect I’m given a book deal and a fat paycheck!
How can the 19 year old basketball player be the next Michael Jordan?
What do us normal people have to do to get there?
Were they given an opportunity we haven’t? Will we get the opportunity?
Do we need to bang and kick on every door we can imagine to break into an industry? How does this work? How does one become successful, when everyone is equally as good, if not better? Take Creepy Pasta. There are countless stories on there. I’ve read tonnes of them myself. And they’re good. Obviously I feel my writing is better than most, but this example of the sheer size of the talent pool is exactly what I’m talking about. The top 1% makes it, so how do we get into that 1%.
If I write and publish 5 stories a day, there’s going to be someone doing 10 a day.
How much is enough? What’s good enough? What makes you special?
How do you stand out from the crowd when the crowd is so unique and diverse that you’re actually not unique at all? Unless you have a crazy unique gift like playing the saxophone with your ass or something equally as unimaginable, how can you stand out when society has taught us we’re special when we’re not really? How can you stand out in your field when everyone is trying to do the exactly same thing as you – stand out? How can you be different when everyone is trying to be different?