In a world full of dwindling resources, there’s one which comes to mind that we’ll never run out of. It’s not coal or water, or internet memes.
That resource, at least in a writer’s context, is imagination.
I like to think that imagination has a lot to do with originality (you know, the idea that some works are unlike anything you’ve seen before). Because we all want to see, watch or read something that’s so unique and original that it keeps us coming back for more, right?
True. But in order for that to happen, I must accept that I won’t write something completely ‘new’. I can, however, create my own version of it.
It’s a well-known fact that today’s stories follow the same patterns as those which came before them, and the same thing applies to every other story until the beginning of time. What separates your work from the rest is the spin you put on it.
Look at Disney, they took the Arabian Nights tales and turned them into Aladdin, one of the best animated films ever. Francis Ford Coppola took Heart of Darkness and turned it into Apocalypse Now. Stephen King took Three Billy Goats Gruff and turned it into It. You seeing a pattern here?
Without these influences, they couldn’t achieve those things. All it took was a little more imagination for them to bring them into life. This same rule goes for anyone who wants to create, so use whatever influences you can.
When I decided that I want to be a writer and blogger, I decided to find my influences. I signed up for some web seminars hosted by successful bloggers to learn a thing or two. Jeff Goins’s seminar really stood out to me, as he asked me to determine my worldview before I did anything else, something to underline my work, or a motto if you will.
I then started to think about things in life that frustrate me, like thinking too much, taking things too literally, comparing myself to others, all the symptoms of Wunderkind Syndrome.
And that’s what I came up with: the idea of looking back at yourself with some appreciation before you leep.
All your great artists and successful people relay a message telling us to shoot for the stars. Goins is no different, but he makes it clear that you need a solid foundation. He does so in his book Real Artists Don’t Starve, which is a great book for the aspirational artist who dreams of going places. He may report similar stories of success from people he’s interviewed or researched, but the imaginations of each artist makes them stand out from the crowd.
Imagination isn’t just thinking about new ideas, it’s about thinking creatively. He also stresses the importance of marketing your work to every available person, which is sound advice, but something I’m not particularly good at.
By thinking about my audience, I envision people like me who may be stuck on the launch pad with worry and anxiety. I’m convinced that such an audience exists, and I hope to reach people who struggle to get off the launch pad, so we can work together and shoot for the stars together.
I suppose that guides my next journey towards finding influences: learning more about marketing efficiently, finding an audience and creating some brilliant work.
If you want some influence, definitely grab a copy of his book, or check out his website. Or both.
I have no doubt that anyone with aspirations shoots for the stars, but it’s getting off the launch pad that can be a problem. And if you’re lucky enough to get off that launch pad, you’ve gotta have a well built foundation to keep you going sky high. If you don’t you’ll crumble by the time you leave the atmosphere, and you’ll plummet back to Earth in a wreck of your own potential.
Your foundation is the rocketship you’re going to build. Your imagination is the fuel that will take you off the launch pad. That’s what I call the Rocketship Mentality.
As you may know, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin didn’t get to the moon with a flimsy rocket. It took years of planning and collaboration to finally get there.
With my own blogging journey, it’ll take time to realise my dream of writing full time. I write with confidence that posts like these will help me build my foundation, my rocketship, so I can shoot for the stars when the time is right. There will be many challenges, posts that may fail, periods where I make mistakes.
But there’s so much to learn through that journey; I just need to keep using my imagination.
My two elements for building your rocketship are:
1, Create solid content for people to read.
2, Find and build your audience.
With another post, another brick to my Many-Storied Building has been laid. I hope this helped you.
Thanks for reading!