Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Ever had a friend say you reminded them of someone? Your writing sounded like King or Sparks? You dressed like Streisand or walked like Hepburn? Your cooking tastes gourmet and your jokes emulate Leno or Anderson? Standards are to be copied. That's why they are standards. They are what we hope to achieve.
But imagine the reverse . . . an author wanting to write like you. You wave your hand before your face, blushing, honored that you've become someone's standard.
We don't mind being copied as long as people remember who was original. Over time, originals often are forgotten in the noise that is the subsequent success of others. I believe what's more important is that we learn more about how people acquired that success instead of copying their craft.
Don't write another Harry Potter-like series, but study what made JK Rowling revered in her craft.
You want to be as good as the best, but doing your own thing.