You don't have to watch a lot of reality TV before you see competitors trying desperately become what they think the judges want. From a psychological standpoint the need to fit in is hardwired into our DNA. Back in the day, I mean really back in the day, if you didn't fit in you were tossed out of the village and probably got mauled by a bear.
Of course its 2012 so fitting in still maters. I bet you thought I was going to say the opposite. Nope. We are social creatures and fitting in matters. From American Idol to the Glee Project to Project Runway contestants are striving to find where they fit, not only in the competition, but in a larger world. Writers are different only in that the bulk of our time spent hone our skills is spent alone. It's good for nurturing creative abandon. Sooner or later, the need to have our efforts reinforced by others sets us to sharing our week, either with a writing group or with friends and family. We like it when our friends say "your hair looks good" and we like it when people say, "I liked that story."
There is nothing wrong with wanting approval. There is nothing wrong with being part of the crowd. Just watch a little reality TV and you'll see that talent isn't only a piece of the equation. The IT factor is somehow being you-- all the things that make you different from the talented person next to you -- and somehow fitting in.
How do you do that? Own who you are. Don't try to be somebody else. Don't try to be the person other people think you should be.
M.R. Jordan is a writer, editor, sporadic blogger, and lover of beer. Lives in South Korea with her two cats, Bear and Geumbi.
Bear (Gom in Korean) then (above) now (below)
Geumbi (Gold in English)... then (above) and now (below).