There are certain things that we all discover at some point of time that completely changes the way we look at things around us. One of those for me, recently, has been the discovery that people don’t actually have a ‘process’ for doing things; they just do whatever feels right and it becomes an instant hit because they chose to follow their gut instincts. Before I get to the context of things here, just know that not everything you see out there works the way you think it does. You’d be surprised at how much simpler some things can be, and it’s going to make you feel so much better about your own abilities.
I came across a tweet from the legend himself, Rick Riordan, a couple of days ago, where he mentioned that he usually names the chapters in his books after he is done writing them, and not the other way round. This surprised me because I am the kind of person who struggles with giving an appropriate title for my posts here and I often follow the same method because, honestly, who can tell how I came up with the title anyway? But just the knowledge that there are other, much bigger people out there following this exact same method instead of some elaborate process puts me at peace regarding my own skills as a writer. I’m not ‘doing it all wrong’ just because I follow a different method, and neither are you.
Another little thing that made me feel a million times better about my work is that I came across a few posts by my artist friends who mentioned that they often use references for their works. I am, by no means, a professional artist. I often need to use references and I still can’t get a lot of things right because I am still learning. So, knowing that even professional artists use certain photos as reference gives me a lot of peace. There are times when we feel like we really aren’t ‘good enough’ at what we do because we can’t seem to visualize what we want and even if we do, we can’t realize that on paper or canvas. Knowing that it’s not a bad thing to have a reference is really one of the best things to have happened to me so far. It’s nice to know that I don’t have to beat myself up over not being ‘imaginative enough’.
There is already so much competition in the world and there are enough people who copy each other. In my post ‘Let’s Talk About Originality!‘, I mentioned how it is okay to take inspiration from something and add your own element to it; that’s exactly what this is about. You shouldn’t have to feel bad about not having good ideas all the time. Everybody needs to look outside for inspiration sometimes and that is okay. That is how you grow at whatever you do. That is how you make progress.
So, to those of you who are still wondering if your work is good enough because you’ve taken the inspiration for it from elsewhere, just know that you’re doing a great job as long as you’re not trying to copy somebody else’s hard work. There is no ‘process’ here; just go with your gut and you’ll get there.
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