In my blog surfing today, I came across this video, the kind of rags to riches story that makes me so excited I could jump up and down. It’s the story of Paul Potts, a shy, unassuming young man, a salesman in a place called Cell Phone Warehouse, who auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent, (the UK version of American Idol) and took the entire nation by storm with his ability to sing opera. On Monday night, he won the competition, and with it a record contract and an opportunity to sing for Her Majesty the Queen.
Simon Cowell judges both Britain’s Got Talent, and American Idol. In one of his comments to Paul Potts, he commented that he was exactly what the creators of the show had in mind – an opportunity to put the spotlight on an ordinary man with an extrordinary talent. Until 2 years ago, I had never watched American Idol. I was completely turned off by the snippets I saw in previews or on the news, and thought all the contestants were unbearably “screechy,” a phrase Simon himself uses on numerous occasions. For some reason, I started watching in 2006, and was just hooked. Mostly by the fact that ordinary people were suddenly given this opportunity to shine, to have their dreams come true in this magical, fairy tale sort of way. Like Chris Daughtry, who entered the show in 2006 as a 29 year old automobile service manager with a garage band, and now has CD that’s gone platinum several times over. And this year’s Melinda Doolittle, a professional back up singer who “never saw herself” as being outfront- it was amazing to see her come out of her shell and claim her rightful place at center stage.
So, what does all this have to do with writing? It’s really about daring to dream, and having dreams come true. Whether you’re a singer, an athlete, a scientist, or a writer, it’s about having hope in the possibility of making your dreams come true. As one British journalist said about Potts’ victory, “It’s really a win for all us, the little people who have a dream they hope will come true.”
And it’s about knowing what you’re meant to do. In this video, Paul Potts admits that he’s never had a lot of confidence in himself, and sometimes had a hard time in school. But when he sings, he says, he always feels like he’s where he should be and the world seems to come right. Finding that place where the world comes right is crucial, not only to success, but to happiness.
Writing is one of the places the world comes right for me. Music is another. With Paul Potts for inspiration, maybe I’ll dust off a few of the dreams I’ve been harboring and see if they might come true.
So, how about you? What makes the world come right for you?