Trying not to be intimidated

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.

That Bastard.

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.


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2 Responses to Trying not to be intimidated

  1. Kathi says:

    Hi James

    I agree that the worst thing you could do is stop trying. And the second worst thing you could do is to allow yourself to be absorbed by jealousy. I only say this from a perspective of personal experience; NOT to be critical of you. I have found that jealousy can and will eat every micron of a person’s body mind and soul, that one allows it to have access to. It is so hard to turn one’s back on jealousy, but that is just what needs to be done. Jealousy feeds on our insecurity, and the more insecurity we provide it, the larger and more destructive it grows. It can grow so big as to alter the trajectory of one’s life. Remember this the next time the savage glutton of jealousy tries to eat you from the inside out. The reason we feel the pang of jealousy is that we so admire the target of our malcontent. So it can actually be seen as a sign of admiration, esteem, and respect (or hero worship in seriously unhealthy situations!) for that person. Think of that the next time Matt comes up with some sci-fi that just happens to rock.

    Regarding another part of your post, I don’t think a person can *force* themselves to write sci-fi if the writer inside them is ready to create a crime drama. Reminds me of the hitchhiker in the movie ‘There’s Something About Mary’: “It’s like you’re dreamin’ about Gorgonzola cheese when it’s clearly Brie time, baby!” Stop kicking yourself, because luckily your ‘chosen genre’ is not made from concrete and you are a flexible entity in the universe! And, lucky you! for having an “ignore for now” storage unit in the back of your mind. Where did you purchase that? On eBay? Amazon? I would so love to bid on one of those! 🙂

    Go forth, young man, and create! (while avoiding the human tendency to compare!) 😉

    KC (Deb)

    • James A. Miller says:

      That’s it! I’m not writing anymore.


      I appreciate the encouragement. Hopefully, I don’t come off too whiny, or “woe is me”. I am not ~really~ that jealous of Matt. It’s actually exciting to see his story progresses It will be really cool to see him get published.

      Thanks for the comments.. and particularly for calling me “Young man”.

      I love “There’s something about Mary”. Very funny movie.

      Take care,


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