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Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Novel Ideas #4 - High Aspirations

As you probably gathered, I love reading... There is nothing I enjoy more than discovering a new author, particularly when they manage a style and beauty I find astounding. I have recently been introduced to Don DeLillo, and I can't help wondering where he has been all of my life.

But all of these truly great authors - Sartre, Woolf, Kundera, Kerouac- can sometimes have a negative impact on how I feel towards my own writing, and this is something of an involuntary response. For example, I am reading Falling Man at the moment, which was supposed to be something of a research read, given that the 9/11 attacks act as the trigger event for the stories in my novel.

However, while I have been having a wonderful reading experience, it has also made me reconsider my own work, and I'm feeling a might demoralized. I even tried to alter the perspective I was writing from, in the hopes that pushing myself outside my comfort zone would produce something better. 

It didn't.

I'm under no illusions. I know that my writing isn't a good as Don DeLillo. It doesn't have the ambling philosophical consideration that Kundera's novels do, and it isn't as beautifully crafted as a novel by Woolf.

And I know that what I really admire in these writers, is that they have a real voice. They have style, and I don't know if I do. I know, this is self-destructive because if I don't believe in my own work, how can I expect anyone else to believe in it.

But this self-doubt does come from a good place. It comes from having high aspirations. It comes from my desire to create something truly beautiful and profound. It comes from wanting to move people.

It comes from wanting to be a better writer than I am at the moment. 

High aspirations have always been one of my biggest problems, causing no end of dissatisfaction and stress in many aspects of my life. Though I wouldn't have seen the successes I have, were it not for these aspirations...





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