I have called myself a writer for a really long time, but I’ve only ever written sporadically.
(Aside: Even as a child, and as a teenager, I used to write a start a lot of projects, but I never finished too many. I did used to write in a journal very frequently then, though, a habit that I’m trying to restart now.
In retrospect, I think that my journal keeping was for the wrong reasons, such as loneliness and fear of being judged for my thoughts. I have less trouble vocalising my thoughts now, and I have people I trust, and that put up with my rubbish and overactive imagination, and they are a damned blessing.
Still, journals are a valuable recording tool, and an outlet for my stranger mundane thoughts, as well as excellent writing practice. What do you guys think?)
One of the worst moments of my life had to do with one of these projects I had started when I was 17. It involved a journal and was set in the future, as a lot my stories are, and it was an idea that had been playing in my head for ages. I wrote it the old-fashioned way, or I began to write it, by buying a notebook and pencilling it in, longhand. I shared the draft of the first couple of chapters with my closest friend at the time, and she said that it reminded her of Back to the Future which is a movie that I’ve never seen. I was mortally offended for some reason. For those of you who are likewise mortally offended that I haven’t see the movie, tell me if it’s worth a watch!
Ever since, each time I start a story, I think someone will think the idea has been plagiarised or “inspired”. Recently, I began to finally flesh out an idea for a short story that I had in 2014. (and I immediately wrote it down in my journal, mind you. Note the many benefits of having one!) I spoke to my best friend about it too, and he loved the idea and said I absolutely cannot let the idea die.
Now though, I’m convinced that the idea is a lot like the animated movie Inside Out, that I watched recently, and loved. And I am unable to go on with it, thanks to that one time. I can hear people saying the idea is just like the movie. I can hear them saying it’s the “new Inside Out”. (Although let’s face it, in a way, that’s a huge honour. But also not true.)
Really though, why oh why, do people do this? Why is every YA dystopian novel the “new Hunger Games”? Why was every vampire novel “the new Twilight”? Why do people say that a certain book is “Harry Potter for college-goers” or whatever? And most of all, why do people say that certain books remind them of others? Why? WHYYYY? Let’s be entertained without comparing, guys. It’s like having your parents comparing you with other kids. But worse. It’s like having your kid compared to another kid by a person who isn’t even a parent! Or something. It’s embarrassing. It sounds vaguely accusatory. More than vaguely sometimes.
Does this bother any other writers? What does bother you? Share with me so we can whine together! And also so I feel less insane.
Do you sort of think I’m clever, but need a version of me that’s a lot less ranty?
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