So I was watching Coraline for the first time today. Wow. The visuals were uh-maze-eeeeng and I constantly had to remind myself that was all done with stop-frikking-motion. Utterly blew my mind.
Anyway, as I added it to my mental list "Neil Gaiman books I've read/movies I've seen", I was momentarily discouraged. For a long, aching moment, I wished I could be the prolific literary genius that is Gaiman. I mean, how could I, a little girl not even quite twenty, even aspire to be as successful as someone like the Neilster? He is a giant and I am a nobody. He's written reams of award-winning novels/plays/comics/everything and I'm barely scribbling lately. How can I even attempt to write heartwrenching stories full of vibrant characters and rich plot when there are people out there who do it so much better than I do? How dare I even want to try?
Reality check, chicky-dee.
I am only nineteen. I'm barely an adult. It's not like you have to come out of the womb a genius. It's not like I have to instantly be a brilliant writer. Neil himself wasn't published until twenty-three. I have time to make a name for myself. You have to start somewhere.
Neil's been writing for decades now. He's had time to hone his craft and it took him years and years to build up the reputation he has now. It's not like he was an instant household name the first time he was published. I'm still just scribbling things, still learning. I've only been seriously writing for eight years, but half of that was mostly just learning how to build a cohesive story.
So, rather than be discouraged by the fact that I'm not Neil Gaiman or J.K. Rowling or Isaac Asimov, I need to just remember that I'm still young, they started out nobodies too and that just because I'm not famous doesn't make me any less of a writer. I have just as much potential as they do and it's my job to make something out of that, rather than whine about how I'm still at the bottom of the food chain. So, I need to get off my duff and start actually writing so that I can look Neil Gaiman in the eye and say,
"Hi there. I'm a writer too."