I knew it had to happen, but I figured I’d be reading Hemingway or Shakespeare, Steinbeck or Joyce when it did.
I’m talking about the hit-upside-the-head feeling of being a talentless drudge. I recognized it right away, because I’ve had it more often than I care to admit as a musician, listening to other guitarists play spectacular stuff that I couldn’t touch. Makes you want to go home and trash your axe.
So here I am, deep in the middle of the story arc of my second novel, Skins and Bone. The Cape Cod Writers Conference has come and gone. Lots of pearls, lots of help. Yes, they tell me, not all writing can be lyrical. Really, you just have to plug along. Write every day. Pretty soon you’ll have something you can revise. Then I pick up Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. Here are a couple of bits.
“He has a great smile, a cat’s smile. He should cough out yellow Tweety Bird feathers, the way he smiles at me.”
“You drink a little too much and try a little too hard. And you go home to a cold bed and think, That was fine. And your life is a long line of fine.”
Drat! Well, the good news is that trashing an Eberhard Faber #2 is not a big deal. Wait a minute, I write on my computer …
Glimpses of brilliance in others can be seen as discouraging or inspiring. I would encourage the inspirational route, and then do what it is that you do. Sooner or later you may well become the inspiration for others.
Good to hear from you. Good thought for all of us, too.
John Banville, who is as you know an incredible writer, says he is pleased if he gets 52 good words a day. Not total, just the good ones. Just write, don’t quit, don’t try, forget the why. It’s so good to see your post in my reader.
THanks. Good comment!