Gabriel Garcia Marquez I will never be. Nor will I ever have the inventiveness of David Mitchell, the turn of prose of Edward St. Aubyn or Nabokov’s metaphors. The witticism of Evelyn Waugh will evermore escape me. Chances are I won’t even be able to come up with sex scenes a la Jackie Collins (or those of “Shades of Grey” and if you don’t know what I am talking about it, get Google moving).
Like most “professional” readers with writing aspirations, I often fall into the trap of comparing myself to other and better, much better, writers. As if. I have always been in love with words – I pay attention to how words are strung together in a sentence, I admire the elegance of certain sequencing, I re-read passages just to absorb the smoothness of a metaphor or the ease of conveyance. Then I turn around and say, often aloud, I could never do this. Maybe, maybe not. It took me a long time to realize this is just another excuse, another wall to keep the fear at bay, another reason to justify not writing.
I never set out to become Jimmy Iovine when I started working in the music business or Alain Ducasse when I pursued professional cooking – neither titan of their profession stopped me from doing my best and having tons of fun in the process, thus creating a wealth of memories and expertise. So why would it be different with writing? Is it because of the enormous odds stacked against a writer, any writer? Is it because what I have to say might not be important enough? Ms. Collins certainly never cared. Or is it for fear that, with some detachment, I would never actually read, much less pay for, what I write?
English not being my first language plays a large part in my insecurities – Conrad I will not be either (also, my seafaring experience is fairly limited). It was Emma’s post of today that made me put black on white the fears I am reluctant to share with the world at large. Emma spent a good chunk of her time comparing herself to other bloggers: better, bigger, funnier.(To read Emma’s post, click here) Or are they? And even if they are, why voluntarily build another roadblock?
Whether we dwell on it or not, living a conscious life is what most people aspire to, once basic needs are met. If writing becomes a need, we should be grateful that satisfying it is just as easy as grabbing pen and paper. It should be done for its sake and the rest will take care of itself. And even if it doesn’t, tell me, dear writer, is there a better feeling than hitting “save” at the end of a particularly good page?