Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Have you ever read something so good that it made you question any aspirations you ever had to write? In some ways that's the price of falling in love with someone's work isn't it? I read a lot of good books, but seldom do I read something that makes me feel insecure. I know my weaknesses. I'm not a word-smith, though I wish I were. I write in a linear way-- the journalistic background no doubt-- and I'm intimidated by prose because I know mine will veer into purple territory all too easily. But I know good prose when I see it. I admire it and linger over the beautiful phrasing. It reminds me why language is important and how beautiful it can be in skilled hands. I wonder if the writer wrestles with words the way I do-- and I know intuitively that he does not. How could anything so lovely and natural fight its way out when it seems to flow off the page? But the story is calling and I must return to it no matter how inadequate it makes me feel.