Thursday, July 13, 2017

When Mediocracy is Good Enough

I watch America's Got Talent every week, crying when a contestant gets a standing ovation or the gold buzzer. Excited that they found their courage to take the step and share their talent with the world. But not all have that something. Most of them are average people hoping and dreaming they have that something special.

Aren't we all like that or am I the only one? Hoping deep inside, there is a talent that you can share with the world. Not to be famous, or make money but to be really really good at something. I have tried to learn so many things in my 60 some years. Ice skating, (could not do it) music--piano and the guitar and finally realized I am not musically inclined. Same with singing--my father told me to give it up. Ouch. And then I dreamed of acting but instead was given backstage duty in my senior play. I tried out for cheerleading, couldn't do the flips, and so I tried color guard. Not a chance. The list goes on. Is yours similar?

Then I turned to my love of writing. Surely someday I would be another Stephen King. Someone would read my book and make it into a movie. I'm sure all writers dream that dream. I'm no different. Finally reality stumbles through my door and reminds me that a zillion people write books. Few rise to stardom. Few books turn into Hallmark movies. Instead you must read reviews that make you cry, market into a vast void of emptiness and pat yourself on your back that at least you "did it."

I count the years I have left to pull out of average--out of mediocracy. Maybe if I studied harder. Wrote more often. Hired more editors. Maybe, maybe. Maybe I'm just not that good.


Like my musical ability or my physical abilities, maybe these other talents I'm trying to cultivate will always be hobbies and nothing more.

The question is: Is that ok? Can I live with being an average writer, photographer, etc. What if the one thing I'm good at will never be publicly applauded or recognized? What if the one thing I'm good at will always be between God and me? Is that enough?

Of course I know the answer. It's the answer that pops up each time after I work through another meltdown. Another reality check.

I have one audience and that is always enough. His applause deafens anything the world can bring at me.


Cathy said...

I have no doubt that I am every bit as "average" as you are. Except that, well no, on second thought, you're actually less average and more special than me--you, at least, have published two books! ;)

All kidding aside, I know that if I want to put the work into it, I CAN be published in this brave new world of publishing. That may never have been the case earlier. It's even nice that most of the stigma against self-publishing is now gone. Everyone's doing it. But it's sure diluting the market, sales, and earnings.

A friend's book was recently released. She went with a small publisher. Her husband had visions of it selling 100,000 copies. I'm pretty sure that's an unrealistic dream, barring an act of God, but I didn't tell her husband that. I doubt she'll sell more than 300 copies over time. In the month since its release, it's sold 4 e-books on Amazon, one of those to her son-in-law and another to me. (It's probably sold a few more copies off of the publisher's website.)

Anyway, the point I'm leading to references your point: We write to an audience of ONE. If we do that, no matter what, we can still view our writing as having value and being worthy of the time spent doing it.

Lin Floyd said...

I've found great fulfillment in writing family history on my parents, grandparents, etc to pursue their accomplishments and influence in my life.

Lillian Robinson said...

But you keep on writing. God told us clearly in His Word--do not hide your talents. Use them for His Glory.

I love that this latest published book gives Him glory in a more subtle way. You've written in a genre that typically is full of things that would not glorify Him--sex, foul language, etc. You've used your talent in a way that I'm sure pleases Him.

You are not mediocre in writing. You come up with wonderful plots full of twists and turns. There are great artist who are only discovered long after they depart this world. Being discovered is NOT a true measure of talent.

Lynn J Simpson, CCLC said...

Defining success by His love for us, rather than the number of sales etc is a success few find. It may be our narrow gate, so to speak. But so much more freedom than tied to number of likes on Facebook and other such things. I write this for me too, Terri! I got worn out just trying to do the recommended on social media for my business page! And recently realized it's because I was trying to get numbers, rather than getting deeper with God. You are going in the right direction for sure, understanding why you write and who you write for!

quietspirit said...

Terri; Please read these two blog posts.

We all go through the time of questioning our skill and the craft. We must remember Who gave us the gift to write.