Tuesday, March 9, 2010

American Idol Judges Wise Or What?

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Last night, I watched American Idol. Not a big deal, right? Millions do every week.

What I found interesting was the judges’ comments to the contestants. After each performance, every single time, one or more of the judges either said, you need to find out who you are, or, you know who you are. The five contestants who heard you need to find out who you are, disappointment wiped away their smiles. The light, which had illuminated from them when they took the stage, seemed to fade, quickly. In their eyes, you saw the plea for help, your vote, so that they might have one more chance to show the world they know who they are and will achieve their dreams.

I felt sorry for them. I understood them.

Finding out who you are, for many is a long difficult process. Sometimes it takes years even decades until finally a person finds their talent, their niche, their voice and becomes so comfortable with themselves that they shine to the rest of the world.

I have to admit the three contestants who the American Idol judges declared as knowing themselves, were in my opinion by far the best performers. So are the judges right in telling these young hopefuls that they need to find out who they are if they're going to have any hope of winning this contest? I believe so.

The question today then is, how do you find out who you are? Here are a few tips that helped me. And if you'd like to share your journey tips, please do.

1)Look inside. What are you passionate about? Not just what you like. What really makes your blood rush with excitement?

2)Feed the passion every day.

3)Use the talent you unearth every single day.

4)Don’t compare yourself to others. Be you. Be passionate about being you.

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Next week, March 17th, Ellora's Cave author Kathy Coddington joins me.


  1. Hi, Autumn! Great blog! I watch American Idol and have for a long time. I'm entertained by the performers (there's no way I could get up on a stage and sing, with my voice). More than being entertained, I'm inspired when I listen to the judge's critiques because I relate it to writing and the publishing world and come away with determination to make my writing uniquely me.

  2. Hi Autumn. It's hard to see young talent lose their enthusiasm when criticized. I guess we all do, no matter what age. But the truth is, you have to want it bad enough AND are willing to develop your talent to the point it needs to be. Sometimes, even then, it's an uphill battle.

    Every little success needs to be celebrated and remembered. otherwise, the rejections can completely disheartening and stop us in our tracks.

    Believing in yourself is an ongoing effort, no matter who we are and what we do.

    Thanks for your good advice!

  3. Hi, Judy. I'm with you. Standing up on stage is frightening. And, I too, thought the same thing. Writing this blog on the subject, made me strive to make my characters unforgetable today.

  4. Oh, Misty, you are so right. We need to celebrate every single success we achieve. The road to dreams-come-true is filled with pitholes and setbacks. Overcoming them and moving forward is certainly an accomplishment.

    Here's to falling, picking ourselves up, falling, again and picking ourselves up, again.

  5. Awesome blog, di!!! I had to do the same thing. I'm probably still figuring it out, but I've come a long way, baby! :)

  6. Thanks, Darynda. I'm still a work in progress too. In some areas, I know exactly who I am and in others I haven't a clue. One day though, I'll be complete. One day. LOL.

  7. I used to sing rather well. But due to a medical condition, my vocal cords are damaged and I cannot sing anymore. It's so sad for me. I used to love to sing. I sang in a band, in groups, in a quartet of young girls. I miss it, and playing the guitar.

  8. I didn't know that about you, Mary. I'm so sorry. But, you didn't stop growing. You sing now, but in a different way.


  9. I totally agree. Write with passion. Find those things that really draw your interest. Mine is the small bits of info that take me to another place and time. I love unusual history and those are the things I try to incorporate into my stories.

  10. Interesting, Autumn. I have to feel passionate about what I write. I love writing women's fiction and romance both. some critique partners say I shine with emotional women's fiction. Another says her favorite book of mine is a short romantic comedy about parents of 11 year olds. she said I made her laugh out loud. All say I write erotic love scenes.(grin) My passion is telling stories about families.

    But then I'm, a teacher, always have been. I love to use my counseling skills to help.

    My passion? May I have more than one?

  11. PL says: Another place and time. I love reading historials. I envy those who write them. I can only imagine the research needing to be done. You have to be passionate to do it. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  12. Don't you just love it, Mary, when someone tells you they had a positive reaction to your work. Your passion had to shine through in order for that to happen. Good job.

  13. Okay, question for anyone else who stops by in the next few days. What would the AI judges say to you about your current project? Writing releated or not.

    Me, on my current wip, I think Randy would say it's good not over the top. I want that's a dog from Randy. Kara would say it shines like a star at places but it's iffy in others. Simon would say it's close but it needs work before I'd put money down for it.

    So, now, I'm off to polish. I want this puppy to grab all the Simons in the reader kingdom by the wallet.

  14. I've never watched the show but your post made me curious. Linda

  15. I like your advice, Autumn. Write what you feel passionate about. That will help you stand out from the crowd.