16th Trial: Confidence
Weekly hours spent writing or in the pursuit of plot: 1 hour (oomph)
Weekly Choice of Tea: Turmeric and Ginger (see a trend?)
Biggest Success: Purchasing Harper Lee’s latest release!
I have had a stressing and therefore indulgent week and weekend. I am no closer to catching that stray cat than I am to finishing typing up Chapter three. And as you may not yet be aware of, my system is just that: finish a hand-written chapter and type it up. The OCD that runs rampant in my family does not allow that process to be disturbed! So tomorrow and Monday will be dedicated to checking that off my list and by mid week, chapter four will begin. I promise you that, and as this blog will therefore show my feebleness if I do not, I shan’t let you down!
I spent a wonderful day in and out of stores with Jamie and her mother yesterday, where at one point her mother curiously looked at me over a table at Barnes and Noble. To set the scene: I had Harper Lee’s novel in my hand, “Go Set a Watchman” (which, having only one novel in my arms while moseying around that store, is a rare thing to behold). I looked back at her, my mind still engulfed by what I was currently reading.
She asked me, “What does it take to be an author?”
I am ashamed it took me so long to give her what ended up being a shoddy answer. “I mean, you have to have a natural talent for writing.” After the words came out of my mouth, I laughed and hastily added, “I mean no, you really don’t even need to have that.”
How interesting! I degraded almost every author in that store and even myself! Of course I believe you must have a natural talent for writing to be an author of novels, and most do. Even the ones with writing styles that make me want to jab a pen in my eyeball have a knack at least for storytelling. I cannot compare everyone or myself to that of Austen’s or the Brontes’ talent, because the variety and the standards are very different. However, authors that I respect and aspire to, write with the same passion and prose as those of whom set the bar (in my opinion). So was I entirely wrong in my response? Can you create a story, write about it very poorly, get it published, and be an “author”? I guess, though I am sure I will not think much of you as a talented author, but I will concede to put you in the category. I do wonder how my book will look once finished. I have no idea in what opinion I will hold it to!
I must believe that if you want to write a novel to the quality of Charlotte Bronte in the language of your generation, you can. Tap into natural abilities you may not even know you have. And then yes, anyone can be an author worth literature’s sacred regard.
“And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” -T.S. Eliot