Nope, pretty much all the time, the ones who survive are the ones who do the scary thing ... they go out on their own. It seems scarier because there are less people to protect you ... and less people for the zombies to eat before they go after you! But as scary as it can feel, standing out from the crowd and taking risks and being different, it's where greatness lies!
It's sometimes where zombies lie too, but in that case you just go somewhere else!
The thing is, it's way easier to follow the crowd, to do what they do, to fit in, to fly under the radar, but then you're living someone else's life. To really be great, to really be AWESOME, to really not have your nostrils bitten off, standing out is where the greatness lies.
Take my career of choice, writing. If I just write what everyone else writes, for starters I would be BORED OUT OF MY BRAIN because I would be writing what I thought I should and acting how I thought I should and trying to fit in to someone else's idea of how I should write rather than being myself. For seconds, how do I get noticed that way? How do I stand out from the thousands of other stories that are getting sent in to publishers or shown to kids in schools?
Yes, it's scarier sometimes, and yes it has still meant I have had OVER 200 REJECTIONS, because sometimes it's scary for businesses to gt on board with people who are standing out, because what they know works is what they know works, and something different can seem risky ... BECAUSE IT IS!
But it's also where people can change the world, it's where the excitement is, that feeling of creating something new that no one has ever done before, of creating something that you really believe in and that you are driven to create because it is inside you waiting to burst free..
And when you can do that, even if the rest of the world doesn't get on board, even if it goes nowhere ... at least you will have had an amazing time creating it and letting it out into the world, and at least you will have been true to yourself and at least you will survive the apocalypse!!!
HA! TAKE THAT, PEOPLE IN THE BIG CITIES ALL GROUPING TOGETHER LIKE YOU'RE HASH BROWNS AT THE SHERATON!!!
And on that note, have an amazing week, and never let the fear of standing out stop you from being you! Because seriously, if we can do nothing else AMAZING in our lives, we can do that.
We can see zombies never give up, even when they get a ninja star thrown into their eyeball. Even when they can't see the ninjas. Even when they get their head sliced off by a ninja sword ... okay, so they might give up then, but only because they can't find their head!
We also see the ninjas using skills they have worked on over and over and over and over again. We see them moving like the quietest butterfly landing on the softest flower ... and then slicing its head off. We see them throwing ninja stars into a zombie's eyeball from 37 metres away, which is amazingly awesome!
But all that aside, I am here to compare zombies against ninjas. I'm NOT going to try and guess who would win a fight between a zombie and a ninja, that's for the UFC to show when they adjust their rules and let zombies and ninjas in. Seriously. If it's an ULTIMATE fighting championship without ninjas and zombies, is it really ultimate? I don't think so. Anyway. The thing is, if you look at any awesome champion, you will notice similarities between them. Let's compare the inspirational traits of zombies and ninjas and, just for fun, world famous piano players as well!
So there you go! As you can see, awesomeness comes in many forms, but underlying the awesomeoness are similar traits. But now it's time for the ULTIMATE question! Who would win a fight between a ninja, a zombie and a piano player? Take the survey below to answer!
It's the same for all of us. If we have a goal, or a dream, or just something we have to get done by a certain time, we've gotta keep shuffling. If you want to be a writer, the best place to start is writing every day. Work on your craft, improve your skills, do it every day. It may seem like nothing is happening, but it will be. Little steps every day, little changes, all add up to big changes over time. And sometimes your skills only improve bit by bit and then suddenly take a huge leap, which is actually really thrilling. I have heard Robert .Rodriguez, director of movies such as Sin City and the Spy Kids phenomonen, talking about this from when he was a cartoonist, and it's brilliant. He's brilliant.
Robin Sharma talks about working on your craft every day, saying if you can improve by only 1% every day, after one year you are suddenly 365% better than you were at the start of the year!!! That's a lot of percent!
Yes, I know, I hear ya, there are some things you can't and shouldn't do every day, like massive exercise, your body needs some rest, but there is always something you can do, so ner. On your days off you could research different exercises, or go for a leisurely walk, head to the beach, do something that will still help towards your goal but isn't the full-on stuff you generally do.
The thing is, if you're always building up your skills, always working on your craft, getting that 10,000 hours of practise in, when the big opportunity you've been waiting for arrives, you're ready to go.. The big race meet, or the school concert, or the weigh-in, or the X-Factor auditions, or the call for submissions, or whatever, you're ready to go!
I got over 200 rejections from publishers when I started out, and over all those 8 years I was writing and drawing every single day, sometimes a little bit, sometimes a lot, and eventually, when I got picked up for one book, I had heaps more ready to go. This meant I had one book published in the first eight years of my career, and 35 published in the next eight!
Not only that, but when I started drawing, one character would take me three or four weeks to create, and now I can do them in a day or two. This is only because I have drawn every day, and worked on my craft every day, so that now in the back of my subconcious I have built up skills I can call on when I need them, and the characters almost draw themselves now (they still start off looking REALLY BAD though!!! It's just quicker to go from REALLY BAD to pretty cool!).
So that's it for today. If you really want to improve at something, work on it. Do small things every day that keep you moving towards whatever your target is, and it will happen. And if you aim for small things, some days those small things will multiply into big things as fast as the zombie virus. 1000 words becomes 2000 words because you're in the flow. A 10 minute run becomes a 20 minute run because you felt so good.
So have fun, work on your craft, and keep shuffling!!!!!
(PS to hear one of Australia's finest athor/illustrators talking about working on your craft every day, check out my interview with Gabrielle Wang HERE. She's a star).
Sooooooo ... that's why you need classes! We're scared of looking silly and getting things wrong. We think we can't do things because we can't do them as well as the best in the world, or even as well as other people we know.
You know who doesn't care about this? ZOMBIES!!!! They never think a certain human is too hard to catch, or that they won't be able to get them.. They go after every person like they have no doubt they are going to catch them.
But what if they don't catch them? Oh no. Failure. AAAAGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!
Hang on. Wait. What do they do next? They see another human and they go after them!
They try again and they keep trying until they get a brain and then they eat it like it's the best meal ever!
They don't care if it's hard or if they may not be able to do it. They give it a go and they keep trying until they succeed.
Hmmmmmm. There might be something to that. The thing is, saying you can't do something is totally true. We can't do HEAPS of things! But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try and try and try again until we CAN do them! Can't doesn't matter unless it stops you trying.
So don't ignore the voice in your head that says you can't do something. Listen to it, laugh at it, bite its face off and eat its brain!
Then get out there and try and try again until you CAN do it!
***Note: If the little voice saying you can't do something is actually another person, don't bite their face off and eat their brains. Unless you're a zombie. In that case, go for it! Also, well done on being able to read this. I'm impressed!
It's the same with people in a zombie movie. See, in pretty much EVERY single zombie movie or TV show, the people who die first are the ones in the big cities. They're in big groups, thinking that sticking together and following the crowd and being the same as everyone else will help them. Safety in numbers, that kind of thing. They laugh at the people who go off on their own. They call them crazy.
But the thing is, it's the crazy ones out on their own who are ALWAYS the ones who are alive at the end. The big crowd of people? They're breakfast.
It's like this in life. It feels safer to be part of the crowd, to follow the mob, to not stand out. If you stand out you're vulnerable. You risk being laughed at. But you realise that if you do what everyone else does, you get what everyone else gets, and in the case of a zombie movie, that means you get a pretty messed-up brain.
The really great people, the ones who we look on as heroes and geniuses, they went away from the crowds. They put in more work than everyone else. They went after their dreams. They took a chance where others backed off and played it safe. They wrote stories and painted paintings in styles no one had ever done before.
And mostly they were laughed at. But the things they were laughed at for at the start are now the EXACT SAME things that make them great. The things they did that made them stand out are now what everyone else does!
The thing is, you have to be ready to stand out from the crowd if you want greatness. You have to be YOU, and you have to believe that the skills and traits you have are the ones that will take you wherever you want to go. You don't have to be like everyone else. You really don't. Especially if being like everyone else, writing the same stories, travelling the same path, means that you're holding back the real you, holding back on going for the dreams that make you sing inside.
You have to let that song out.
You have to take the risk and move away from everyone else and be the person you know you can be. It's hard and scary and you may get laughed at or shouted down, but if you really believe in something, if it drives you and fulfills you and makes you smile every time you think of doing it, you just have to do it.
Life's too short.
Especially when there are zombies about!
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