For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write. I love it more than any other hobby and it’s the most raw, direct connection to my soul and mind. There’s nothing I hate about it, there’s no downside and there’s definitely no side-effects. With video games, I don’t like that it can be an expensive hobby, I don’t like that it can be particularly time-consuming and I sure as hell wish my hours would accommodate games better.
But writing has always been there. It helped with depression, it dragged me through my teens when I felt out of place, providing me with an escape, it helped me lose weight and drive myself to even further heights. The sense of elation I felt when I finished my first NaNoWriMo in November 2015 was like nothing I’ve felt before.
But. Yes, there’s a but.
I have trouble writing. For the longest time I’ve just compared myself to others, looking at someone else’s book and thinking “fuck, I’ll never be this good” or “I wish I could write dialogue like this”.
I need a mirror.
I need a big old fucking mirror to stand in front of and say “you moron, you CAN”.
I’m probably not the greatest writer on the planet, hell, I don’t think even the greatest writers on the planet are even the best. The ones put on pedestals aren’t even that great. Tolkien’s dry narrative and horrid dialogue makes me wish someone else would take his world and make a story out of it. I wish someone could have shook Frank Herbert and say “get to the damn point!”
It’s great to put yourself up in the same stratosphere of your idols. I’m sure Lebron James puts himself up there with Jordan, or Kobe, he’d have to at this point of his career. But I’m oppressing MYSELF by saying “I’ll never be as good as these guys”
So? Why is that the goal? My fucking manifesto I write every six months when I’ve fallen off the cart face first into horse shit is:
“I WILL WRITE EVERY DAY. I WILL BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR. I WILL MAKE A LIVING DOING EXACTLY WHAT I LOVE”.
Every successful writer has done this. Stephen King sat down at his desk in a tiny apartment and wrote Carrie, he showed it to publishers and they kept shooting it down. Then he got that magic phonecall. He was a broke teacher with a kid to feed and a book to sell. He just kept writing and Carrie went on to be what launched his career. He did this while working part time as a teacher and part time in a commerical laundry. His starch-worn fingers tapping away at a typewriter in the handful of hours of the day he had left.
I keep thinking I’ll never be as good as him because I’m not working as HARD as him. Sure he’s got one of those crazy minds that can whip stories up from the ether at a steady pace, but he still wrote whenever he could.
I keep going back to comparing myself to the greats and thinking “I’ll never be as good as them” and then when I reply to myself “why?” I’ll spew out a hundred reasons why.
But now my answer should just simply be “why not?”