If you've been following my blog for more than a minute, no doubt you've discovered that I'm a huge fan of Fox 32's singing show, American Idol.
And if you're a fan of the show, you'll understand why this season has me as excited as a kid at Christmas.
The talent this year has been off the chain. Truly!
So, what does all this have to do with the craft of writing?
I'll tell you.
Though many may not make the correlation, writers are "entertainers" too.
The medium may be different, but every time we pen a post and hit the "publish" button, we are on a "virtual stage".
Every time we create an Ebook for folks to download and purchase, we are sharing our talents and gifts with an audience.
And just like the contestants on this popular show, we have the ability to move folks to tears, make them want to cheer us on to victory, and connect on many levels.
With this being said, here are a few lessons this season leaves us with.
1. Keep plugging away at your dream.
Overnight successes are rare. And certainly not as satisfying as those where sacrifice and a lot of hard work factored into the equation.
I remember one night when I was viewing the show, they did a rewind to a previous season and I was intrigued by what I learned. It turns out that Joshua Ledet, (one of the top 3 contestants), had actually been turned away on a former season of the show. What?!! Instead of being bitter or defeated, he came back. And this time, with a little more maturity, development, and resolve, he made it into the finals.
Failure is not permanent. Nor is it an indictment against our character or ability.
When an editor criticizes our work, or a reader rips us apart with harsh words, we must remember to take it in stride. Regroup. And get back on that horse.
2. Consistency is crucial.
Contestants who manage to wow fans one week, but fall off the next,
(or rest on their laurels), run the risk of losing "the prize" before they make it to the finish line. A similar fate happens with today's bloggers. If you post every blue moon, or don't make an effort to provide quality content on a consistent basis, you're likely to lose your fan base to someone else who brings their "A" game on the regular.
3. Talent alone is only half the battle.
Natural ability without hard work and people skills, can stunt your development as an artist. Don't believe me? The proof is in the pudding. Certainly you have witnessed with quite a few of these talent shows, that those who are more popular sometimes advance over those who are more talented. Assignments don't always go to the writer with the most qualifications. Read this and heed this.
4. Competition doesn't have to be cut throat.
Though every one certainly wants to be the singer that advances to the next round and beat out the competition, there's such a sense of camaraderie with the contestants on this show. Last week, Joshua was moved to tears when his friend Holly was eliminated from the competition. Which moved me to tears.
Don't be fooled. Though I have found some of the most lovely friends and supporters within the blogging and writing community, we are in a sense "competitors".
That doesn't mean we can't be kind, helpful, supportive and encouraging in our interaction. Karma prevails regardless as to your profession. And I believe that you get what you give, many times.
5. Put your own spin on things.
Truth be told, I've always been a fan of James Brown. And his song, "This is a man's world" is among my favorites. But when Joshua Ledet did his version, it became brand new! His rendition was remarkable. His interpretation was awesome. It was fresh, sensitive and sassy. It had "swagger". Hello! As writers, we can take old topics and give them new meaning. We can impose our unique perspective and put our own personal stamp on things. We can challenge traditional ways of thinking. The sky's the limit. Dare to be different.
Well, that's the conclusion of this "performance".
Your turn. Are you an Idol fan? Any lessons here resonate with you?
Image: Stock photo