• Kate O'Connor

Don't Judge Me...

But I've always been pretty damn good at procrastination. In fact, I'm procrastinating right this very minute. I should be working on my university assessment that's due next week. Of which I have to yet to start. The guideline for the unit says that we should've gotten moving on it by the second or third week of semester. I'm only... two or three weeks behind?

The problem, dear reader, is that the last few days I've been having so much fun playing around with my website, updating stories and posting to my Facebook page that university hardly holds a card to the instant acknowledgment that a Facebook like or a new page view brings. I'll be waiting several weeks for my assessment results, and then the feedback will most likely be something along the lines of "Good ideas but could have been explored further, please use more intellectual-sounding words, you're studying to be a literary genius and so far sound nothing like Jane Austen...". No, not really, but sometimes it seems like that.

The thing is that I have no intentions of being a literary genius. I don't expect my work to be studied or held up in the same light as the likes of Shelley, Lovecraft, Austen or Dickens. I have no illusions about being anywhere near as good as the writers of old. Frankly, no one these days is. Language has changed too much for us to ever emanate the greats, and if we really tried the number of people who could understand would be limited.

No, my goal is to entertain. To take my readers away to another place (not physically, because that's kidnapping and I'm told that's really frowned upon, even for the most famous of authors), to transport them to another reality for a while where anything is possible. The greatest books are the ones that play almost like a movie in your head - your eyes see the words but your mind sees the story. That's what I want to do. Just like my favourite authors have done for me, so I'd like to do for others.

I recently read an article out of the UK about how Sir Terry Pratchett was not a literary genius and that the world has become obsessed with mediocre writers. The thing that struck me was that the author of this particular piece had never read a single one of Pratchett's works. Judgey judgey, tsk tsk. Naturally, the man got blasted by fans and non-fans alike. Aside from the fact that Sir Terry is far from mediocre in terms of his ability to suck readers into his story, of course he can't be classed as a literary genius when compared to the greats. He writes in a completely different style. Because that's what he loved, and that's what his fans continue to love even though he's departed this world for the next. You don't have to be a master of language to be a a good writer. You have to be able to touch people (not like that!), to take them on a journey. And frankly, who gives a shit if the way you go about it is different to others. Find your style, find your audience, do what you love and love what you do, and screw the rest.


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