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One of the things I’ve always wanted to do with my life is be a writer. You wouldn’t know it looking at the path my life has taken up until this point, but it’s something I always come back to, something I always find myself considering and bemoaning my failure to achieve.
I think the primary reason for this is because writing is something I feel I can do. Writing isn’t like drawing or sports or maths or any number of the other things that I know I can’t do, but wish that I could learn; writing is something that I know in my core I’m capable of, and that I enjoy doing.
And so I return to it time after time and think to myself
“You know what, I should take a crack at writing a novel! I could actually do that. Maybe it wouldn’t be the best, maybe it wouldn’t even be publishable, but I think it would at least be something I could be proud of.”
I put the proverbial pen to paper, or more realistically fingers to keyboard, and then I realise I’m not sure I have anything to write about, which is the part that really worries me.
I always get the impression that great writers are people who really have a story to tell, that they have an idea burning away inside them their whole lives until they suddenly discover a keyboard or something and then it all just comes flying out. Don’t get me wrong, I’m by no means implying professional writers don’t do work, I don’t think it all just comes easy to them. I know they slave away tied to their writing for months or even years, crafting a whole book or even series of books out of their initial idea, and I have the most incredible respect for them. But that’s the part that I always find problematic. Where do they get that initial idea from?
Is it something they’re born with? Do they have a story inside them just desperate to be put on the page? Or are they just creative powerhouses, who can pull great stories from the world around them that inspires them? Or are they more like me (or at least were they once), just people who enjoy the craft and kept hammering away at it until something finally stuck?
To be entirely honest I really wish I knew. I’d like to know whether, in order to actually be a writer, you have to be the kind of person that ideas just pour out of, or whether, at least for some, the finding of the initial idea itself is as tough as making forging it into a whole novel.