|Sign up for e-News|
I think it is a natural tendency to try to outdo the next man. We are all a part of a society in which competitiveness is ingrained from the earliest ages.
In pre-school and kindergarten, schoolteachers use a benchmark, though mostly arbitrary, to determine where a child sits on the bell curve. Throughout grade school and into high school, we are exposed to grading systems and class rankings, forcing us to judge ourselves against our peers.
The collegiate environment relies on competitiveness, not only for admission, but for retention. Then we are released into a world in which we must outshine coworkers for advancement–have it be based on true merit and capability or just a keen acumen of the political corporate game.
We all have expectations of our lives.
I think the ones who current don’t, once did but dismissed their dreams. They (or other) either convinced them that their dreams were impractical or they simply sat on the far left of the bell curve, they never even tried. Some have just decided their dreams were not worthy or warranted. They lacked the confidence to pursue their passion or simply thought their passions would not make an impactful impression in our society.
There are others who have dared to dream and follow this invisible notion, but after one or two tries, the discouragement battered their esteem. Now they dare not to follow the convention, but do everything they can to hold on to status quo. And there are others who keep plugging along, allowing the world’s well practiced practicality to flow around them. They will not heed to complacent reasoning to forsake their dream.
This variable scale is very common among writers. They not only have expectations, but plan to write the modern version of Great Expectations. Brimming with fresh ideas for books, essays and poems, but when it comes to writing, nothing is actually written. Classic dismissal of written dreams.
Some indulge their writing ambitions, but after writing incomplete or complete manuscripts decide they are not the next Dickens or Hemingway. Thus, they deem their dream of writing as not even worthy of other’s eyes.
But there are some writers, who put themselves and their writing out there. Only a few can handle the many rejections and criticisms from editors, peers and readers. They forge ahead despite the disappointment, hoping that one day their dreams will be validated.
But the reality is these are the chosen few. They have chosen to keep plugging away, attempting their dream, rather than losing all hope. They chose not to just hang on to life with their manuscripts and aspirations tucked away from the world. The inherent competitiveness of the writing market is simply enough to dissuade the most talented writer from even throwing their hats in the ring.
Between the pure saturation of the market to the persnickety taste of editors to the uphill battle of being published, let alone marketed properly, many writers are just discouraged by the nightmare of the whole process.
The sentiments are completely understandable, but it just comes down to deciding if you are one of the chosen few.
“Getting ahead in a difficult profession requires avid faith in yourself. You must be able to sustain yourself against staggering blows. There is no code of conduct to help beginners. That is why some people with mediocre talent, but with great inner drive, go much further than people with vastly superior talent.” – Sophia Loren