Friday, January 28, 2011
4 Things Every Writer Can Learn From American Idol!
It's season 10, and I'm in!
For those of you unfamiliar, American Idol is a singing competition whereby 3 judges and American viewers "audition" and choose who's hot and who's not based upon vocal ability and their "wow" factor. And it's hugely entertaining.
For those of you who ARE familiar and think it's a huge waste of time, keep reading this post for this program's relevance to writing.
As I was saying, each season I vow to stop watching because sometimes there's pettiness, politics, etc.
But then I see the previews, and I'm drawn to it like a good bargain sale!
Though this program is primarily a singing competition, there are other benefits to viewers, particularly those that are writers.
Here are a few pointers I've picked up recently.
1. Talent alone will only take you so far. If you want to outshine the competition, you have to display your creative strengths and play to them. When performers present material that does not showcase their talents well, or display their originality, they sometimes lose their fan base and risk being eliminated from the competition. The same holds true for writers.
2. Heed the advice of industry experts.
How creative artists handle rejection will determine how far they'll travel in their careers. Those that don't listen or fail to implement the suggestions offered up by the "judges" do themselves a great disservice, and stunt their potential growth. Time and time again, I've seen writers who refuse to take constructive criticism from editors, publishers, or seasoned professionals to improve their writing skills, and as a result, never quite make it to the "finals". Don't be one of them.
3. Confidence should never come before competence. It doesn't even in the dictionary! Never let your ego get in the way of your excellence. Learn to be objective. Nurture your talent. Hone your craft. And always strive to let your "star" shine!
4. You must stand out from the competition in a good way to get noticed and to advance in the game. For singers it can be their costumes or performance style. For writers it might be the clever use of metaphors, or strong imagery with words, or quick wit. Decide then deliver.
It's your turn @ the "mic". Do you agree or disagree? What lessons if any have you learned from this popular show?
Image: Photographer Dan