14 October 2008

Read it and weep

I am, I know, a lucky bugger. I get to work in an industry that is stimulating and exciting, with creative, amazing people who do something that forms the backbone of my free time, my travelling time, my before bed time, my in the bath time, my summer days time… my life. I mean, where would I be without books? What on earth would I do? Who on earth would I be? How would I cope? Eek. It gives me shivers just thinking about a world without books….

Anyway. As I say, I am very lucky to be able to work in an industry that I love. People far better qualified than I; that have studied the art of words for years at Uni and college type places, would beg, steal and borrow to work where I do.

Yep, I am lucky indeed.

I mean, obviously I work in the less creative sales end. Not quite what I imagined, or really wanted to do to be honest. It’s not double glazing, it’s not estate agency, it’s not photocopiers or curtain rings – but it is, when push comes to shove, sales. And let’s be honest – now is not the best time to work in sales. It could be worse mind, I could work in the city….or be unemployed of course…

Anyway. Lucky. Books. Sales. It’s all good.

And I do still get to hang out chatting about books a lot. With other people. I get to chin wag about celebrity authors, I even get to meet them sometimes… and I get to read and review as part of my job. Hurrah.

What’s my point you might ask. And well you might.

I am continually reminded that I can’t write. I mean, I know I write this blog. And I can turn my hand to a damn fine birthday card. I even do good compliment slips… I have written the odd short story that some people actually liked and I wrote the first three chapters of a novel and entered them into a competition (and didn't win) a few years back. And I have written quite a lot of porn, but let’s not go there.

But, and this is the killer. I can’t write how, or what, I want. And I am reminded that I’m crap on a daily basis by reading and reviewing proofs and manuscripts by authors who I greatly admire and would love to have a smidge of their skill…

I could, I suppose, take a course. Do the ground work. Take the plunge and just bang at it, day after day, till I got it right… but I fear it will never, ever, be good enough.

So every time someone says “a fresh new voice” or “a haunting and exquisite first novel” or “the most amazing debut I have ever read”… it sticks like a knife.

And although people say – everyone has a book in them – it is universally known that whilst that may very well be the case; that book won’t necessarily be any good, be read or indeed liked (by anyone but your mum), or ever be published. And even if you do win the lottery of life and get your damn book published, no-one (other than your mum) might ever buy it. And the handful that do might hate it. And those that review it might point and mock and laugh…

A bit like I do. Almost every day…at work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

NaNoWriMo is the thing for you, babe.


It takes place every November. The guy who invented it is a genius, he has simultaneously invented a cure for perfectionism and way to make writing a sociable activity.

See you soon.