At the other side of the spectrum from ‘I Wish I’d Written That’ is its less popular cousin ‘I Could Never Write That’. Ever met him? He’s sort of goblin-like, slightly furry but not in the ‘hot Greek’ way, and will every now and then poke his furry fingers in your ear just to provoke.
As a matter of fact he’s sitting on my shoulder right now.
After about two weeks of no writing at all I decided I need to get cracking. Mostly because I honestly do look forward to writing this story, but perhaps mostly because I promised my supervisor a draft ‘I am happy with’ right about, well, today. Let’s just say I have a draft, true, but I’m certainly not happy with it.
Unfortunately for me,this cousin of dark corners has blessed me with his presence. Beside me is a copy of Northern Lights and I’ve read and re-read the opening chapters, concluded twice or thrice how brilliant it is in setting up character, plot, and burying the leads for the rest of the novel. It’s simply genius.
That makes me mad.
It’s almost too good. ‘I Could Never Write That’ whispers the Gothic goblin in my ear. ‘So why bother?’
I’ll tell you why bother: because nobody’s asking me to write Northern Lights. In fact, if I did, it’d probably be a mild case of plagiarism. Of course I know what he means though. But the same idea applies: I’m not meant to write it. Not everyone can write books like that. Perhaps the literature scene would be a rather remarkable thing to look at if they did, but it’d also be rather boring don’t you think?
Everyone has their own voice, their own special qualities and specialities. You just need to find yours and utilise those best you can. Easier said than executed, and I’ll probably publish this post and go back to slight panicky hair-tearing and pen-stabbing (into a note pad, I’m not self-destructive like that), but I guess that’s how my story goes.
One of my good friends, a brilliant, brilliant person in every way, and although I haven’t read anything by her, I’m sure a terrific writer, has written half a novel on a very interesting topic. Then she stopped writing and I’m trying to urge her to finish it. But what she said stuck with me, and sort of relates back to what I said in the first Writer’s Block post. This is what it all comes down to, and it is the force which will demolish all blocks, obstacles, or brick walls in blocking your creativity. She said:
“If I care enough to finish it, I will.”