When I was a teenager and into the whole rodeo and barrel racing scene, I fell in love with the music of a country singer named Chris Ledoux. His music appealed to me because it was different than that of other country singers. He sang about rodeo life, cowboys, and horses. A former bareback bronc rider, Chris was the real deal, and it showed in his music.
I bought every album Chris LeDoux ever released. I saw him in concert every time he came to our area. I bought his t-shirt and wore it proudly. I was a bonafide Chris LeDoux fan. And even though I don’t listen to his music nearly as much these days, I still am.
I’ve only cried upon hearing about the deaths of two celebrities—Chris Ledoux was one. (The other was our local weatherman, Jim Giles, but I was also pregnant at the time, so it could have been the hormones!)
By now, you might be wondering why I’m writing about a lesser known country singer on a writing blog, so I’ll go ahead and get to my point:
Chris Ledoux was by no means the best singer who graced the country music stage. As far as his singing ability, he sang on tune and had a nice voice, but I’ve heard people with much better voices, truthfully.
It was his music and the man himself, rather, which drew a following– so much so that he became somewhat of a legend. Garth Brooks mentioned Chris in his song, “Much Too Young to Feel this Damn Old”. Chris also gets a mention in “Saltwater Cowboy” by Tracy Byrd, and more recently, in Brantley Gilbert’s, “Country Must Be Country Wide.”
Chris LeDoux found his niche with not only rodeo people but those who loved the country lifestyle. Other country singers admired him, and his fans adored him (and still do).
So many times, as writers, I think we get all hung up on being the best. We often feel defeated because it seems we may never write as well as some other writers out there. We might even give up before we’ve really given writing a shot.
Of course, it’s important to improve your craft and continue to grow as a writer, but not everyone is going to write like Hemingway or Tolkien. It’s just a fact. Many of us will probably never come up with brilliant, best-selling stories like Harry Potter or The Da Vinci Code. But that’s okay.
What we can do is be true to ourselves. Even if we’re not the greatest writer the world has ever seen, we shouldn’t be afraid to be a Chris LeDoux kinda writer. We can pour our heart onto the page and write about what we love. We can keep working at it until we make it.
And we can trust that just like Chris Ledoux did, we too, will find an audience who can identify and loves us for the writer that we are.