Somewhere along the line I’ve mentioned my favorite author, but it bears repeating. I wonder if other people have someone so seared onto their psyche as I do, a so-called paragon that literally made them think what they were doing was incorrect, that it was time to do a whole other thing.
That’s a big deal.
And it’s not that simple, but screw it. For me, it’s Kurt Vonnegut. Now before I get into hero worship mode, let me say that there’s a lesson at the end of this little rant.
Vonnegut showed me that it was okay to be a self-absorbed smartass and still tell a good story. He also made money at it. When I learned these two things, I was instantaneously hooked. To know you can say what you want to say and have other people listen is maybe the coolest thing in the world.
Granted, ever since then, my life has been a complete and utter disaster. But not really. I’ve learned so much, tried so much. Failed hopefully. Succeeded doubtfully. And lots of other crap.
So I’ve written five novels, a bunch of other stories, on and on. I haven’t earnestly tried to get published by the major arbiters of human fate because, frankly, to hell with them.
I knew I wanted to be Kurt Vonnegut, but I’m not Kurt Vonnegut. The world only gets one of him, and he filled the slot. So now it’s down to me being me. And while I can be inspired by the dude, I can’t ape the dude. It’s no good to do his kind of snarky. I’ve got to find my own. I do it by writing always, trying always, thinking always. When the feeling strikes that it’s all figured out, that’s when I know I’m probably most full of crap.
So the moral: We all need a hero, someone to launch us or inspire us, but it’s no good to be a copycat. Copycats are generally murderers and cheaters, and neither of those things are cool.
Be you. But remember where you came from. See you after.