Some writers, when reading a book they utterly love, get disheartened. They think ‘I could never accomplish this! What’s the point! I give up!’
I’m a bit odd, as I think the opposite. It inspires me to try to create something on par with that excellence. I see what rules can be broken, what feelings I want to invoke in others, and so on.
Reading a certain book recently has ruined me for other books. I haven’t been able to read anything else since – I always get like that after reading something amazing, all else seems so dull in comparison (and I think a lot of other readers feel the same). It’s like my head needs more time to let it all sink in, and doesn’t want it erased or crowded by other reading.
This book blew my mind a little. Never before has a book made me realise, ‘You know, as the writer, YOU can write ANYTHING. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN! They’re your characters, from scratch! The plot, the world/s, everything! They’re YOURS TO COMMAND!’
Of course, from character, plot and world building, I’ve been aware of that for some time, but this made me realise how true and how shattering that statement is. A book doesn’t have to be the usual characters with plots A through C and la la la. I can write anything.
I haven’t been able to write like I used to for many, many years now. I used to be able to write each day and look forward to it. I used to scribble in my lunch hour, notes on my phone at all times, get up early and write before work – everything. more importantly, it was easy.
I think it was because of the writing environment I was in. There was this fantastic forum called Fiction[NET], that had a smallish core group of writers. We were all sorted into ‘houses’ like in Harry Potter, and there were weekly and monthly writing tasks that would earn the house some points. Whether they were pretending or not, they said my writing was excellent and begged to read more – I stress, whether they actually thought that, or were reading it at all – that feeling was what made writing so easy.
I don’t think it’s something that every writer ‘needs’ to have in order to write – not at all. It just made it freakishly easy.
Due to lacking time as we all got older and went into full time work, college, marriage, and so on, one by one we all fell away. For the past two or so years the originally creator has been trying to get it up and running again, but so far it hasn’t happened. I’ve tried other writing groups, but now, thanks to anxiety and a general inability to keep anything that requires continuous social interaction, none of them really seem to work for me.
But that book. It made me want to write again. It made me realise how little I’ve done to the plot when anything possible. Even though I have a few tens of thousands of words on plot in various forms, it’s not enough. Because I could do anything with it. And that’s interesting.
Here’s to hoping I start writing again.