I FINISHED MY BOOK!!!!!!!
April Fools! Ha… ha. Well, that was just depressing.
Moving on to my planned post for the day:
I’ve always been taught to be humble (and polite and nice and good—all of which are good things to be taught, and I am in no way regretting these teachings nor advocating against these behaviors… just suggesting some modifications). Arrogance is a nasty trait, and people do not like arrogant or boastful people. And even though we in America are taught to be ambitious, to work hard and reach our wildest dreams and more… it can still feel wrong to dream big. I don’t mean just vaguely hoping for success—I mean actively planning for and working towards BIG success. It feels like you are thinking highly of your own skills and talents; it feels like you are arrogantly expecting wild success over others. And in a way, you are.
But… who cares? Why shouldn’t you dream big like you are one in a million? I’m not saying you should go around telling everyone you know that you’re better than them and they better start riding your coattails now… but I might be saying you can think it a little (even that feels horrible to write). Deep in your mind, where you don’t let it out, dream as big as you want. Be as arrogant and ambitious as you can possibly be. Forget being nice and polite and humble and kind—be bold and brash and confident (even cocky!) and insatiable and selfish.
Now, I still believe in treating others kindly, with respect, and in truth I don’t really think I’m better than anyone (in fact, I know that I’m a lot worse than other people in a lot of ways). But by cultivating this mindset within the privacy of your own thoughts, by dreaming as big as you possibly can and then bigger, you are building a goal for yourself that can motivate you beyond what your nice and humble teachings ever can. You create an internal shield of arrogance that can fight off doubts—arrogant people do whatever they want and they don’t care what anyone else says. This can create a lot of hateful behavior, so you do have to keep a handle on it—but in writing and art and creativity, getting a dose of that self-confident arrogance can do more good than harm. Just a dose, though.
Look at that wild dream and realize that the only thing standing between you and that dream right now* is yourself. Your current behaviors (mine, at least), the things you have been doing for your entire life, have kept you from this dream. And if you don’t change them, they will keep you from this dream for the rest of your life.
(*Obviously, once you reach a certain stage in the process, it really is out of your hands. You can’t make agents/publishers accept your novel; you can’t make enough people read it; you can’t make success happen. But you can’t even begin to attempt to reach any of those stages if you never write a word—and that you can make happen, right now, with nothing else standing in your way. And I think motivation comes from connecting those dots to the big dream, even if there’s a lot of other dots in between that you’ll have to face later on.)