September 20, 2013

Jealousy and the Magic of a Word

Dear M,

For all that fancy talk I gave about reading, I haven't been truly honest. Not intentionally, I assure you - I knew I was not writing something, but it took me a while to put my finger on it.

It came to me as I was reading a book - a book by a debut author who had no literary background. Just like me. But wrote great stuff. Not like me. And was published by a giant publisher. Not at all like me.

I liked the stories a great deal. But (or maybe because I liked them), as I read them, I felt a pang in my chest - or more like a pang-pang-pang-screeeeech-wail-shatter. It was the twinge of jealousy. Jealousy!

Yes - and I think I am okay to admitting it now - I feel so very jealous when I read a good book or watch a breathtaking movie. I enjoy it, and I love it, but then I feel a deep, intense collapse inside... that I am not able to write like that. That I am nowhere close. That even at my best, I would not be able to work such magic. Oh, that pain is unbearable, I tell you. I may be okay or even good at times, but I doubt if I could ever get to that breathtaking heights these people have reached. And I am not one who likes to settle for mediocre. Sometimes this feeling of jealousy inspires me, sometimes it makes me want to walk away from everything. I am sure every creative artist feels this way, and if it inspires them to try harder, then it is good. But if it doesn't...

When I sit at my desk every day wanting to write, these authors flash through my mind - the ones who have made me jealous. They make me nervous, they do.

But what do I have to lose? Nothing! I have a story to tell. And I will just tell it the way I know it. Because I am a nobody, I can tell things the way I like - no one is going to question, there are no expectations on me, no one is going to be disappointed that my story is not up to the mark. There is no mark anywhere. I am a learner, and will always be.

Every day when I sit at my desk, I go through these emotions before I can start. It's like a ritual. Disappointment, disillusionment, then slowly and painstakingly building up the courage to write a word. Then the magic of that one word takes over, and I forget everything.


Like this post on Facebook!

1 comment :

  1. Wow, that is exactly the same thing that happens with me, when I read something wonderful I feel jealous and upset that I can't bring myself to writing something this good.