I’m sorry, Kate Atkinson, but I don’t agree with you. The act of writing makes one a writer.
The first book by Atkinson that caught my eye was Life After Life, the COSTA novel award winner for 2013. It ticked so many of my Id List boxes! Reincarnation, rural England, World War II…there was a fox on cover! I love this book and recommend it to anyone who like good books. Then I read the follow up novel, also a Costa Prize winning novel. This book ticked absolutely zero boxes and amazingly bored me senseless until…oh, Spoiler ahead… until the last page when it turns out that none of the boring, horrible stuff happened to him or his children because he actually did die in the war rather than being found right at the end of Life After Life. Oooh I got so mad! That’s almost as bad as ‘she woke up and it was alllll aaaa ddrreeeaaammmmmm.’ Just no.
Okay, Kate, I get where you’re coming from, but if people think they have to be original from the get-go then many, many people are just going to give up before they really get going. It’s hard, this creative stuff. But you have to have – and by have I mean GIVE YOURSELF – permission, to SUCK at first. No one is born a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer or an Archibald Prize winning painter, or an Oscar winner. It’s going to be tough, and sucky and boring, and ungratifying at times, but it’s worth sticking to because our creativity is how we bring meaning to life and you know what? Life doesn’t get any easier, but you get better.
Remember – Opinions are like assholes- everybody has them! Just keep at it. You’ll get there!
PS – I just clicked publish on my print novel of Hotel Deja Vu! Only a year later than I hoped but I think it’s a much better story now. It will be available on Amazon next week and later on other platforms…but it’s out there!