A Lesson in Perspective: Experiencing the Work of Creative Geniuses
Last night my wife and I walked out of Barnes & Noble with several great finds, including a new copy of Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's my first time reading it. I'm twenty some-odd pages into this wonderful tale, and I feel absolutely horrible about myself!
Truman Capote displays such a captivating manipulation of the English language that I, a budding, up-and-coming, some-other-word-for-amateur-wannabe-writer can't help but cower in his ability. How in the world could I ever be able to tell a story - about anything - with that kind of mastery?
The whole thing is entirely discouraging. But it's such a beautiful thing to experience! How boring would the world be if I, as a creative, could never consume anything greater than what I myself could create? It would be a world of misery!
What would there be to strive for, to appreciate? What would each of us learn from and aspire to be like? I'm so grateful for these master wordsmiths like Capote and Fitzgerald, Tolkien and Lewis, and so many others, old and new, who grace the shelves of booksellers and enrich our lives daily.
There's such a wealth of knowledge to be found in books, such a breadth of talent! What I find encouraging is that each and every great writer, creative, storyteller, and artist was at one point in a similar place to where I am now. At this point, they probably each looked up to the greats of their last hundred years with the same self-deprecating adoration!
Because greatness exists, I know that I can find it myself. I know that my situation is not special. That others have done the exact same thing I'm trying to do. That like every other sultan of syntax before me, I can become a literary marvel who leaves others feeling the same as I do now. And that gets me really excited!