As I approach my 100th episode, (this is 92) I have been reflecting on the craft.  The Pitchfest re-affirmed what I consider to be the writers prime directive, “distinguish YOUR work”.  All the query letters, log-lines, elevator-pitches, and publicity stunts in the world will not allow your work “to be singled out for honor or special attention” unless it is truly “characterized by your individual features”.

Even though another Star Trek-Terminator-X-Men-Transformer-Night-at the-Museum reruns on the silver screen and the latest in a series of  Mystical-Tell-All-Self-Help-Vampire books suck the life from our retailers, WE will only be adequately compensated if we create discernable work.

Michael Jackson WAS VERY different but when his work failed to continue delivering a refreshing new approach to entertainment, we quickly lost all respect for the “man”.  In between this weekend’s constant tributes to the orginal Michael, I came across a tribute to Nikola Tesla on the History Channel.  Here was a man who’s creative differences with his employer, Thomas Edison, caused him to quit working for the “Wizard of Menlo Park” and take a job digging ditches.

A few years later, HE literally electrified the Chicago world’s fair with HIS Alternating Current and the forerunner of HIS florescent light bulb.  Edison did everything he could to make DC our standard, but Tesla’s current was clearly a better alternative.   Tesla could have stopped there and become one of the richest men in the early 20th century living out HIS VERY different lifestyle in opulent bliss.  But instead he released Westinghouse from their significant financial obligations to him, and began to work on different approaches to… just about everything

While I am not sure that I would rather be different than rich, distinguishing one’s self  is something we control and it can be very rewarding.