We’re being brainwashed by self-help books, by the Internet, by our too lovely friends. They give us the illusion that we can become something great, we can become a giant, or leave something significant.
Actually, that’s not true. The ones who give guidelines and advice and encouragement, unless they write biographies, are usually not the ones who have made it.
I’ve been reading a few books and websites on writing, and some more specific, screenwriting lately. At the beginning of the book, there is always one sentence: Writing is formulaic. Writing is a structure. You can do it. You can create a masterpiece.
Rubbish, that is. Writing is formulaic, yes, just as baking a cake is formulaic. Is an average person with no skills or talent in baking willing to bake a cake for someone on their birthday? Most likely no. However, an average person with no skills or talent in writing is very much willing, and most of the time, is encouraged to write, thinking they can become a giant.
I believe you must have it in you. In order to do anything. I learnt how to play the piano when I was 5. I still could not play by ear. I could only read music. I am not going to fool myself, and think I have a style of playing. In fact, I should just be realistic and think I have no musical ability whatsoever.
You either have it in you, and it will flourish, or you don’t. In some cases, some people do have it inside them, but they haven’t realized that yet. Those people should be encouraged to try because they have the potential to achieve something great. I think the best thing we can do is find our own potential. Nurture it. Stop listening to self-help books. The only thing they help you with is to give you an illusion.