Era of the Unicorn (For Writers)

Hey, everyone! I hope you liked the title for this post. I felt like discussing the mystical unicorn today.

giphy (98)

For those who don’t know what it is, it’s that unique, amazing, just brand new out of this world idea that’s going to get you rich and famous. You know, that premise you discovered, and everyone is asking, “How did you come up with that?! Tell me your secret!”

Yep, that’s the unicorn. These days, it seems everyone is chasing it: artist, musicians, tech start-ups (programmers), and of course, writers. It’s funny, actually. I never heard the term “unicorn” until I moved to Silicon Valley. In just my first two months of meeting people here, I heard of the unicorn. In the group I was with, two programmers were going on a quest to find the unicorn. Their stead wasn’t a horse, but a smartphone app they designed. Now, this post isn’t about becoming a successful start-up, but it’s about how as writers, we are hunting that unicorn.

For writers, our unicorn is a unique story idea that hasn’t been done before, or it’s a story that captures readers like they wouldn’t believe. In today’s society, we’ve already seen the writers who caught the unicorn.

Writers like:

Stephen King
E. L James (I know, but she still found it)
J. K Rowling
Brandon Sanderson
Alice Walker

And the list goes on. With the unicorn, you end up here:

giphy (99).gif

However, don’t forget that for every successful writer, there are probably hundreds of unlucky ones. This post isn’t to discourage you, but to keep things in perspective. We shouldn’t spend all our time searching for that unicorn. More than likely, we won’t find her. Instead, we should write our stories the way we want and see if the unicorn finds us.

Also, remember, “Writers shouldn’t follow trends, they should set them.” My creative writing teacher said that.

In a tech article titled “Finding the Next Billion-Dollar Company,” Bill Barnett said, “Want to find the next unicorn? Listen to where the buzz is coming from and run the other way. I can’t tell you who will be the next unicorn, but I can tell you it will come from where we least expect it.

(article link: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/finding-next-billion-dollar-company)

So, to my fellow writers, stay true to yourself and the story you want to write. When I see other writers online copying cliches or writing what is already popular, they are following the buzz, not looking the other way.

For Clash of Tides, I honestly felt I found my unicorn, but alas, I didn’t. However, that won’t stop me from working on new stories.

Maybe, one day, the unicorn will find me.

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Question: For your stories, did you ever feel you found the unicorn? When you realized you didn’t, what did you do?

(Please note: I will respond to my comments soon. I’m behind with my writing for contest and submissions. Also, the full chapter 21 will be posted this week!)

Please tell me your thoughts!

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15 thoughts on “Era of the Unicorn (For Writers)

  1. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever really found a “unicorn”, not in the sense of thinking an idea for a story was unique and going to bring in lots of readers and everything like that. I have found my personal unicorns though, a whole herd of them. Stories that thrill me, that get my brain thinking and my blood flowing. The power of those moments in my field of personal unicorns is more beautiful than trying to find a public ‘unicorn’, or at least in my opinion. 🙂 I liked this post, it was totally different and I loved it. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • The unicorn is hard to find, and sadly, most of us will never find it. That’s good =) Finding personal unicorns is always better than finding “the one unicorn.”

      I like the way you think, Shadow. Personal growth means more than anything else. I’m glad you liked this blog post. I wanted to try something different^^

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d never even heard of a unicorn (well, except in the usual sense) until I read your post, so thanks for enlightening me! I’m happy with just regular old horses right now…I have faith (in a non-religious kind of way) that I’ll find my “unicorn” in a couple of years, after a lot more practice…

    Although, for me, perhaps the unicorn is more about being able to tell a story in a unique way and from a unique point of view, rather than having a completely original idea (not sure there’s any of those left).

    Hope that made sense!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re welcome! Out here in the Bay Area, people are always talking about the unicorn.

      That’s a good way to think about it! Keep working on your craft and who knows what will happen =)

      Good point! I don’t think any idea is original anymore. Humans have been around too long at this point. However, you never know what the next big thing will be.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I also had never heard of unicorn before, but I suppose the concept is not unfamiliar. I was contemplating the other day about how all writing is derivative, but I don’t know that I was discouraged by the thought. It’s not the first time that I’ve thought that either. Each person has their own set of experiences that can make a story have a fresh feel, even if it’s not entirely unique. We are, after all, a conglomeration of our experiences, which comes out in our writing.
    I think my goal is to find a pocket of people who can relate to what I write. Hopefully a sizable pocket of people, mind you, but in a way I think if you focus on your own growth and pushing your limits, you might stumble upon your unicorn without ever actively seeking it.
    Excellent post, Aka. Keep us thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good point about how we each have our own set of experiences that can make a story feel fresh. I agree with that – we have to focus on our own growth and we’ll probably stumble on the unicorn. Thanks, Mandie, for commenting! I always love reading your comments =)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish I could say I found my unicorn, but it’s so hard. There are so many stories out there, how can you possibly say your story is absolutely original? Then again, maybe it is and it’s just the critic within speaking haha It’s definitely something to think about once in a while; I certainly wasn’t aware it was a thing until I read this post. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! There really is so many stories out there. If you go to every free writing website, and then just to Amazon, that’s over a million stories alone. It’s a scary thought, and that doesn’t even include stories written in different languages.

      You’re welcome! I always like to bring new discussions to the writing community,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. While I’ve been told my stories are unique and different, I don’t know if I would necessarily describe any of my ideas as unicorns. That said, I haven’t even been posting them for a full year yet so it’s probably too soon to tell!

    That said, even if none of my ideas turn out to be one, I wouldn’t consider them failures. I’m not writing to find any unicorns though; as long as there are a few people who enjoy what I’m sharing, I’ll be satisfied!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To be totally honest, I’ve never actually heard of that term being used in such a way. I understand the reasoning behind it and it’s quite clever, but I’ve never heard of it. I’m not sure I can say I’ve found mine. I like to think I might have found one, but so far I can’t say for sure.

    (Love that last picture too, btw.)

    Liked by 1 person

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