Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Curse of Being Great

We are all good at something, whether this be whistling through our nose, caring for others, cooking, writing or running fast. Sometimes we're not even aware of it, or at least we're not made aware of it.

There are a twofold problem. 1) everyone around you are so used to you being great they no longer notice it, or 2) you are so good people assume you are aware of your skill.

1) I learned of the first a few weeks ago when a friend - I can no longer remember what we discussed but probably my math course - said something like "but you're always good at [it]". I was rather surprised that he thought so, but as I thought of it I realised that praise has a tendency to stop coming. I understand that no one can go around saying someone's great all the time, but does the time passing make you less skilled? No, it doesn't. You're as good, and you shouldn't need to become better for people to appreciate your skill.

2) I considered the question about querying the other morning on the bus to work. I thought about the form rejections I've received, and how I've always assumed the worst of it - that they didn't like my writing and that the plot was lame or that my characters were one dimensional etc etc. This morning - shocker! - I suddenly found myself thinking "but what if they simply didn't know how to promote it? What if they liked it, and thought I could write, but that the plot/meaning wasn't to their liking?". Then the Evil Editor on my shoulder said that if they liked it, they would have told me and not sent a form rejection. But what if they just thought the writing was so good they assumed I must know that I can write, and therefore saw no reason to send further encouragement?

I toyed with the thought - better keep myself positive now when NaNo is approaching! - and realised I often do just that myself. I assume people know how good they are. I often look at photos or paintings at deviantArt and find them so stunning I can't imagine the artist doesn't know they're stunning. Then I keep browsing, leaving no hint of my appreciation.

The problem is that when I don't like something, I don't say anything either. Which means my reaction when seeing something great or something horrid is the same one (virtually at least).

Of course, this post is mostly a rather random pondering on Things' Being and Stuff. But also, a reminder to myself as well as to others to let your loved ones know they are great. Let strangers know they're awesome. Let friends know how talented they are.

They might need to hear just that.

1 comment:

  1. And of course you don't believe your friends when they say you are great, because you think we're obligated or something ;) But you are an excellent writer. Whether you believe me or not.