Tuesday, December 18, 2007

cliche or truth?

I have over the last two months seen one movie about three times because I loved it so much - it was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I won't say what it was because if I do I'm about to spoil a really special moment in it for anyone that hasn't seen it.

Actually, what I write here isn't going to sound all that original or "special". It's a bit of a cliche, in fact.

In this film, someone's father has always given them the advice that success isn't all life's about. Instead, what matters is to have tried.

Despite this being a really sweet moment, the first times I watched the film it just washed over me, to be honest. Yeah yeah, that's what everyone says, heard THAT before. Third time through, I stopped to think. The one thing I want to be successful at (- writing -) is the thing I'm most scared to attempt. My major reason for not hunkering down and writing The Novel, instead of just sitting round excusing myself and waiting for The Idea, is that rejection is a little too frightening. More frightening is making the attempt and then finding out that I'm a crap writer and I can't actually do it unless I want to sell my soul and do Mills and Boon. This has always made perfect sense to me even if I don't admit it.

(Of course, an element of my inaction is just pure laziness.)

But then I thought, suppose some day I die, which is more than likely. Will I really be lying on my deathbed surrounded by adoring hordes of descendants, or with my life flashing before my eyes in the midst of some tragic accident, thinking, "well, at least I never got rejected by a publishing company"?

I've got to get on with it. Just do it. Bite the bullet.

There are probably about ten cliches in this one blog post, not least that "trying is the most important thing". Maybe this particular cliche hasn't used up all its truth, though.

And at least if I write the novel and die without seeing success, I can delude myself into believing it will be published posthumously, make my grandchildren rich, and ensure for myself a well-kept tombstone.


Beck said...

My dad was first published when he was in his 50s and now he's a best-selling Canadian author. There is world enough and time, my friend.

Sarakastic said...

I think that you're a brilliant writer & the world needs a book by you. I will give you $10 (American money) if you name it "The Novel"

LEstes65 said...

I'm no writer. But I know what I like. And I LOVE reading your stuff. Even in the safety of your blogginess, I can tell you have great wordificationology in you.

Go for it. Try. I promise you will have at least one sale of your book in Texas.

Trish Ryan said...

Great post. Thanks for the reminder! It's amazing how lead footed the fear of failure makes us. Your post makes me see that not trying something I long to accomplish is it's own type of failure, but the worst kind, because it doesn't teach me anything (or give me funny stories to tell at cocktail parties).

And the more things you try and fail at in life, the closer you are to writing your memoir :)

LEstes65 said...

Hey by the way - what was the movie that was so good, it warranted 3 viewings????