I've been in quite a funk. I've started and stopped more books in three weeks than I ever have before. I've also started and stopped more fiction (bits of a story, stray sentences of maybe a novel) than I ever have before. Adding to the push/pull of it all: I'm also going through this on the design side of my life...the "day job" side of me. The side I am never able to fully integrate into the writer side of me, and yet it saps the same creative energy each day, leaving me with little imagination left for writing. Real writing. Of the fictional type.
In short, I've been feeling inadequate. Mediocre. Not sure if it makes sense to continue adding to all the noise - the blog noise, the fictional noise, the design noise. Someone, somewhere, will say it better and sooner than I. This is where my internal monologue is stuck. Why bother, I ask myself. I'll read a snippet of fiction so good that I'm simply in awe. I can't compete with that. Or can I? I read litblogs daily and marvel at the output and timeliness and wit. I can't compete with that. Or can I? I meet writers so lovely and interesting and well-read. They have so much to say that they've not yet said. I can't compete with that. Or can I? I've not sorted all that out yet, but two quotes I've read this week have me feeling better about the state of things. While each quote is brilliant alone, when placed together, they perfectly sum my feelings as of late:
"All that day [Darya Alexandrovna] had had the feeling that she was playing in the theatre with actors better than herself and that her poor playing spoiled the whole thing."
-Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Via)
"A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and immediately it becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and it's halfway to being just like every other bloody book that's ever been written. But the best must never be allowed to drive out the good. In the absence of genius there is always craftsmanship."
-Robert Harris, The Ghost (Via)
The best must never be allowed to drive out the good. The reason I write at all - the reason I read - is because words can illuminate, comfort, and revive the soul in a way that few art forms can. For now, I'll assume the "good" and try to keep up with the best. Time will tell if it's a fool's errand.