Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have heard the news about my recent broken bone. *sigh* Again.
I have a special talent, it seems, for breaking my middle toe. That’s right. Not the big toe or any other appendage that sticks out. Nope. I have to be different and break that middle toe tucked between the others.
Note that I’ve never broken any other bones. (Yet.) Just this same toe—three times. Calculate the odds of that.
I broke it the first time two-and-a-half years ago, and it took over 6 months for it to heal because I kept re-breaking it before it was fully mended. (“Oh, I’m tall. I can reach that upper cabinet, no problem.” *stands on tiptoes* Crunch.)
The second time, I broke that same toe one year later, nearly to the same day. I think I rebroke it only once or twice that time before it healed.
About a month ago, a year-and-a-half after that last incident, I broke that same toe again. I’ve already rebroken it once, and this time I was just standing around, not doing anything. It’s enough to make me feel like I can’t win.
(Why yes, I do stub my toes a lot. There’s a reason I have the Klutz Queen crown. *smile*)
We Each Have Unique Skills
My point is that bad stuff happens to everyone, and it’s easy to let those setbacks bring us down. Each time I re-break this toe, the clock of six-to-eight weeks of healing resets and the pain comes back even stronger. But I think we all have special talents of the good kind as well.
I believe everyone can do something that hardly anyone else can do. Maybe that skill is useful. (I could sure use the superpower of writing perfect queries. *grin*) Or maybe it’s useless, or silly, or bizarre. But that talent is ours and ours alone.
That “superpower” makes us unique in the world. No matter how worthless that skill might be, it still makes us special and that’s something to celebrate.
Celebrate What Makes You Unique—No Matter How Bizarre
The sense of belonging to a group is nice, whether it’s as part of our family, our job, our hobbies, or something else. But it’s nice to remind ourselves that we’re one in a billion too.
We’re the only ones who can do what we do. That uniqueness means we have a way of looking at the world no one else does. No one else can be the kind of parent or employee or friend we can. We should celebrate that fact as well.
It’s easy to observe all the things we can’t do. Every once in a while, we need to remind ourselves of the things we can do and take for granted.
Maybe we give the perfect hug to a child in pain. Maybe our bright smile is the highlight of a grocery cashier’s day. Maybe our goofy klutziness brings a belly laugh to someone who’s down. We each have something to contribute to the world that no one else can.
Story Characters Should Be Unique Too
As writers, we can apply this lesson to our characters as well. They should bring a unique talent, skill, or way of looking at the world to the story. Ditto for them having unique flaws too.
Yes, character strengths and flaws often fall into broad categories: he’s arrogant, she’s forgiving, etc. But the way those traits manifest and affect the story should reflect the characters as individuals.
More importantly, we can think about how those strengths and flaws play out over the story’s arc. Do they recognize their superpower at the beginning of the story? What about at the end?
My Superpower Is…
My superpower? I can peel Clementines (like mandarin oranges) in a single S-shape 99% of the time. Useless, silly, and bizarre, but kids look at me in awe, so it’s all good. *smile*
Registration is currently open for my two workshops designed for those with no knowledge of WordPress, websites, or blogs. Interested? Sign up for only one of the workshops: For a free website/blog: “Develop a Free Author Website in 60 Minutes (or Less!)”; or to set up a website/blog you own: “A Newbie’s Guide to Building a Self-Hosted Blog or Website.” (Blog readers: Use Promo Code “jamisave” to save $5 on registration.)
Also, a reminder that I’ll be holding a one-hour live Q&A session about all things WordPress this Thursday, April 11th, at 7 p.m. Eastern time on the WANA International Facebook page. Come pick my brain! *smile*
What’s your superpower? Have you ever impressed anyone with it? Do any of your characters have unusual abilities? What makes their strengths and flaws unique? Do their traits tie into the story arc?Pin It