I am currently crafting a story with the working title “Economic Robin Hood.” It’s about a guy who is on the self appointed mission of finding people that are abusing government handouts and badgering them, (Read: Beating them up) until they get their life in order.
A big part of the story is showing the fallacy of the main character’s assumptions. Which I am sure I do to try to not come off as a middle-class white male who writes stories bashing people on welfare.
It’s the kind of thing that would probably make for a great screenplay/movie due to the potential for some action scenes. But for all the thrill of knocking out another story, I am not completely happy, as the content is really off of my main venue of Sci-fi. It’s more drama with an element of crime.
So I am kind of kicking myself a bit for not sticking with my chosen genera, when I get to read through the start of a story that my friend Matt is working on.
It’s an awesome, insanely creative, Sci-Fi tale with some very cool characters. I would love to tell you more about it, but I am not sure how much he would want revealed. You just need to know it’s the kind of thing I am really, really, jealous of. Like “Why didn’t I write this?” and “OMG he is going to get a Sci-Fi story published before I do.” kind of jealous.
But then I realize Matt doesn’t have the responsibilities in his life that I do. Matt’s only got the wife and two kids and farm to worry about. I have priorities, like spending hours on end playing Call of Duty Modern Warfare II with Jeff.
And it’s hard not to play when Jeff when he is getting so dammed good at killing the Juggernaut.
But Jeff’s not the type to get too excited about how I am doing on my writing and I really can’t blame him. When it comes to video games, I don’t get too excited about writing either. I mean, I wouldn’t mind talking to him about it, but I don’t ever see myself saying “Hey, let’s just put down the controllers and see if you find my characters descriptive enough.”
He’s a sport and would totally do it, but I know it’s not his thing so I don’t put him through it.
I’m instead left with a twisting feeling in my gut that Matt is a better writer than I am, and maybe I am just not cut out to write Science fiction. Or write at all.
Later on I am also put off a bit when I see a guy being interviewed on a documentary about the Universe and they credit him with something like thirty published Science Fiction novels. I have never heard of this author, yet am very impressed with the number. Thirty novels is a ton. I haven’t even written thirty stories, let alone get any of them published. And according to Matt’s wife, Penelope, the only real reason to be writing stories seriously is as a gateway to getting a novel published.
The concept of a novel just seems daunting to me. You can see how my Blog posts meander; imagine me trying to keep on point for two hundred pages. It’d be like trying to climb a mountain blindfolded while wearing roller blades; maybe not impossible but it’s gonna be one hell of a long trip.
I gather up my insecurities, stuff them away into the “ignore for now” storage unit in the back of my mind, and decide it’s better to not let the accomplishments of others keep me from taking my literary baby steps, no matter how absurdly gigantic those accomplishments might be or how close of a friend they are.
Because the worst thing I could do is to stop trying.