"The best way to become a successful writer is to read good writing, remember it, and then forget where you remember it from." ~ Gene Fowler
At one point in time, I was told that we never write anything truly original. I was told that all the stories had been told and that all we were doing was rehashing earlier material with our own spin on it. That concept that the well of ideas was a limited data set never sat right with me. On days like today when I look at the blank page and I am feeling overwhelmed, that quote comes back up to gnaw on me. It does a great deal to throw a damper on my excitement for writing and ratchet up my anxiety.
I try to keep the stuff I have read in the past in mind. The good is what I uphold as my idols to emulate. The bad is what I use to remind myself that I can do better. Somewhere along the line, I find myself feeling like I'm just stuck in mediocrity. It is a painful place to be. I hate to admit it, but I want desperately to be special. I want to be someone that is upheld by others as a positive role model. I want to be the next great innovator of the craft.
They're rather insane goals to hold. Well, ok, the role model one may not be an insane goal to have. But the idea that I could some how bring a great innovation to the craft of writing is something that edges into grandiose egoism. I struggle with my voice and I struggle with my confidence. It is hard for me to see anything Earth shattering coming from this place I'm in right now. Still, I refuse to give up.
Perhaps I should work on stealing a page from Oscar Levant's book:
"There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."