Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Writers as Intimidators

Once and a while I'll read a really good book. And I mean a really good book, one that's so full of color and character and detail and emotion and plot and pacing that I don't put it down and I read it from cover to cover.

And then it makes me sick.

There are talented writers out there. The John Steinbecks. The Robert C. O'Briens. the Lois Lowrys. The Ray Bradburys.

And then there's little ol' me.

I take comfort in the Bradbury Defense for Mediocre Writers: He claims that 90 percent of the stuff he wrote is drivel, and that only the last ten percent was worthwile. To write well, he says, you have to write a lot, just, in so many words, to get the crap out of your system. So I hold out hope. When I get to despairing, I pull out The Secret of NIMH or Tortilla Flat or The Giver and just hold out against hope (and the accumulated evidence of my own trash writing) that someday, soemthing might just turn out readable.

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