“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” ~Toni Morrison
I haven’t done a writer quote in a while, so I don’t feel too bad doing it today. This one in particular is a favourite; it makes me laugh because it makes a very good and inspiring point. There are countless books out there, millions upon millions upon billions, perhaps, and they say there’s only about five (or seven, or twelve, depending on who you ask!) stories out there anyway; there are just different ways to interpreting and telling them. And, really, if you consider those statistics, the chances are, if there’s a book that you really want to read, it actually probably has been written. But there are two things getting in the way:
First, you’d have to find it
Second, it’s probably not exactly what you wanted to read.
So write it yourself; search for it while you’re writing, and, if you find it, then improve on it. I know that’s not exactly what Morrison probably meant, but that is how I tend to think of it. There are a lot of books I’ve wanted to read that I’ve found, but I still feel I could write, essentially, my own version, too.
It also reflects a little bit of light onto the thought of the importance of writing what you love, and to hell with what other people want to read. Let them write the stories they want to read. You’re going to write what you want to read, and if they end up wanting to read it, too, all the better. If not, then let them show you what they do want, and maybe then, you’ll want it, too, and then you’ll have the drive to be inspired by them as well.
I think I’m going to hold that last part particularly close to me in the next few days, if I start churning out something and feeling doubtful about it. It’s something I’m writing, yes, but is it something I would want to read? Granted, there’s a little bit of a problem in that, considering I want to read everything I can get my hands on, but maybe I can be a little more judicious when it comes down it to….