Thursday, December 22, 2011

Use your favorite author as an inspiration, not a boundary

There is one author out there who's name evokes emotions of horror, and his name is Stephen King.

I've been reading Mr. King since I was in seventh grade, when my cousin Derek loaned me Salem's Lot and Cujo.  Ever since, I've wanted to be like him, to share in the same level of success.  Because isn't that what we all want?

But that is the wrong goal to have.  It reminds me of the story of Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile.  The four-minute mile, in the field of running, was seen as an unachievable goal.  Runners would get close, but never run faster than it.  Until Mr. Bannister did it in May of 1954.  Not long afterwards, other runners broke the once unachievable record because it was proved that it can be done.

Everyone has someone who already has achieved a level of success that they want to be.  But I challenge you to think beyond their success . . . and achieve your own.  Be greater than that person.  Be the best you can be--don't compare yourself with anyone else, regardless of their success.  Don't get me wrong.  It's okay to be inspired by them.  Just don't think of their success as the pinnacle, the very top anyone can achieve.

I may never achieve the level of success Stephen King has achieved, but I'm going to give it one hell of a shot.  One thing I must stress, I don't view Stephen King--or any other successful writer--as my nemesis.  I think all writers should strive to be the best they can be, because we're all in a war against illiteracy.  And the better stories we create, the more people will read.  And the more people will read . . we win.

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