As a girl when I told people I wanted to be a writer, they would often say something like, Oh, you’ll be the next Austen or Shakespeare! In college when I started working on my first novel (about two Chinese American sisters and their mother) people said, Oh, you’ll be the next Amy Tan! Now when I mention that I’m focusing on Young Adult literature, people say, Oh, you’ll be the next Stephenie Meyer or Suzanne Collins!
I get it. They mean well. They’re enthusiastic, and they’re working with what they know. They are saying they believe in me, that I can be as big/great/successful as these other authors. And I appreciate that, I really really do.
But here’s the thing: I don’t want be the next anybody.
I want to be original.
I just want to be me.