I think it’s normal for creative types to experience a measure of jealousy in the entertainment they enjoy. “Why didn’t I think of that?” “How do they do that?” “What are they doing right that I’m doing wrong?” So go the thoughts one can have when consuming media in line with what one wants to create themselves. Jealousy can become trepidation and even fear. Why try to create something new where something new that’s very similar has already been created?
When I run into this question, I try to remind myself of what I feel is the correct answer: Try to create anyway.
It’s difficult, at times, not to care about the works other have done that lay within our interests and skill set. We want to know the competition, after all, to gauge our chances at meeting with the same level of success. We want that knowledge, that assurance, even if it means we have to give up on our ideas because, according to all of the evidence, the ideas don’t stand a chance.
That knowledge, as essential as it seems, gives rise to our fears. We’re afraid our dreams aren’t good enough. That our ideas will never find an audience. That at the end of all things, all we’ll have to show for our desire to create is some disconnected scraps of thought and art, a bitter feeling of repeated and callous rejection, and a whole lot of wasted time.
You shouldn’t be afraid of these things. And if you want to give your dreams a fighting chance, you can’t be afraid of them.
It doesn’t matter if what you want to do has been done. What matters is, how are you going to do it? What parts of your creation will set it apart from others? Why is it yours? Answering those questions, instead of the others I posed, will help you move forward, create more, and bring your dreams to life. You’ll find confidence and joy in doing so. And you will leave your fears behind.
The world needs more creators. Go forth, and make something new. And when you do it, do it without fear.