I’m a creature of routine. Every day, every week, I tend to follow the same behavioural patterns. And one of the things I have sorted to a fine degree is my Saturday morning routine.
Saturday morning is one of my favourite times. Sleep in. Gradually raise myself out of bed. Eat a long, slow breakfast while reading the paper. And when I grab that paper, there is one section I always make a beeline for (at least after I’ve checked out the sports) – the literature section.
Of course, you would say, it makes complete sense that the literature section is a priority for me. After all, I am a writer. So it must be important for me to immerse myself in that whole world of books. I must constantly be on the search for new books to read. I must want to stay in touch with the latest trends and happenings.
Well, I have to say that my motives are less pure than that. To be honest, there’s one primary reason why I’m so keen to check out the reviews of the latest books to hit the shelves.
I want to make sure that nobody else has written one of my books.
I would be devastated if I opened the paper one day and read a review of a story about a man who fell off the world. Or a strange Tolkien-esque fantasy where baked goods play a significant role. Or a detective thriller set in the afterlife. Or, worse still, a combination fantasy/comedy/romance/adventure/satire just like the one I’m currently working on. There’s all of my thunder totally stolen. It would be back to the drawing board for me.
It doesn’t usually take too long to figure out that, nope, nobody else has written my stories – which given what my stories are about is not really that surprising – who else in their right mind would write one of my stories?
So what happens next? Do I carefully read all the reviews? Do I find myself a new collection of books to add to my reading list? Well no, not really.
The problem is, I’m not that interested in the people in these stories. I can’t be bothered finding out more about the woman who’s left her husband to go and find herself. I’ve got little interest in the man who finds himself perplexed and at odds with the complications of life. And call me heartless, but I just can’t get myself involved in the young child dealing with a dysfunctional family in a rundown country town.
Maybe it’s the fact that my life is so hectic, I haven’t got time to engage in other lives. Maybe it’s because I have my daily quota of drama in real life. Maybe it’s a sign of growing old. Maybe it’s some kind of character flaw. But I can’t deny it. Odd as it sounds, especially coming from a writer, the truth is I’m not that interested in other people.
So how can I be a writer if I’m not interested in other people? Good question. I suppose it comes down to being interested in a bunch of other things. Because there are lots of different inspirations for writing a story. And even for someone who isn’t interested in people, I still find no shortage of interesting things to write about.
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