When I first started this blog, I read quite a few opinions of people who knew how to be a successful blogger – do it this way, that way, NEVER make it too long, write what’s popular, don’t be self-indulgent, be consistent, always use photographs. The list of rules was never ending. I junked the lot, and followed my heart.
Because there’s no point in doing my thing if I’m not doing it my way. Plus I suspect that those who rise above the crowd are the ones who don’t follow other people’s rules, not out of rebellion, but because they’ve got something more powerful going on. At first the babbling crowd says “WRONG, WRONG, you’ll never make it, blah blah blah”.
But they keep on doing what they want to and at some point, all those negative opinions turn. Then one day the same people are saying “RIGHT, RIGHT.” And it’s because the successful people didn’t listen to their negative opinions.
We revere people who have the gutspah to do their own thing, and we’re constantly looking for something new. But we look at somebody who’s succeeded, and we create totally superficial reasons for their success, then we try to persuade people starting out to follow those rules. Which will make them not an individual. Which will make us not notice them.
Seriously, it’s a circus. I figure success doesn’t come from how many rules you follow, it comes from doing what you want to do and never giving up no matter what comes at you. At first you may get tons of rejection. It’s real easy to believe that means you’re no good, and to give up. Well, then your journey’s over. People who give up? They find all sorts of rationalizations to support their choice. “It wasn’t meant to be” is right at the top there. What they won’t face is that they chose to believe their detractors, they didn’t look for solutions to obstacles, wouldn’t try to look beyond their own lack of belief in themselves.
But some people say “I don’t believe any of you” and they keep going. What turns the tide of popular opinion? I suspect it’s that the more you stand up to rejection, the more you believe in yourself, and the stronger you get in your creative expression. That’s where the power lies. That’s what people read when they see you or hear you, whether they know it or not. I know, that’s a kind of rule, but at least it lets people be individuals, so for now it works for me.
We’re all looking for people who have that courage to believe in themselves. We make it hard for them, but we revere them when they stand up to our negativity. Nobody puts a sheep up on a pedestal.
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