Are you exceptional?
Of course, before you answer that, you have to define the term. “Exceptional” has a simple definition according to the dictionary:
Definition of EXCEPTIONAL
1 .forming an exception : rare <an exceptional number of rainy days>
2. better than average : superior <exceptional skill>
3. deviating from the norm: as
a. having above or below average intelligence
b. physically disabled
So let’s call it like it is and admit we all want to be number two. But wait, there’s more! There’s also what exception is not.
Exceptional is not self-sabotage by refusing to give up on a single work, but instead remembering you are a writer – and a writer has more than one project. Exceptional is not ignoring the rules for submission, but remembering that those rules are there so your prospective agent can see your talent without having to wade through too much
pink paper glue and glitter crazy fonts personality.
Exceptional is not ignoring negative feedback, but using it to grow. Exceptional is making the time to write instead of waiting for it to magically fall out of the sky. Exceptional is remembering that dreams are not the same thing as expectations – and keeping dreams high but realistic makes them achievable.
To clarify, “getting published” is a realistic dream. “Being the next JK Rowling” is a ridiculous one.
Exceptional is always being willing to learn from others’ experience. Exceptional is knowing you are worthy and an individual, but not a special snowflake. Exceptional is remembering that HOW you do an idea is more important than whether anyone’s thought of it before.
So what, in the end, is exceptional?
Flexibility and persistence. Gut instinct and humbleness. Patience and patience and more patience – after all, maturing takes time, just like good wine or yummy cheese. All growth takes time.
Good thing growth is worth the wait.