I spent much of last night lying awake, staring at the shadows of the trees swaying across the wall. Part of it was the thunderstorm, part of it was that pesky Russian angst that keeps popping up to dance with my inner editor, making me wonder WTF I’m doing, thinking I can maybe write.
It started when I read this article: A Lion Builds a Cat 5 Lair in the Keys about Tim Chapman. It’s a compelling article for a bunch of reasons: first, Tim Chapman is a really interesting, much larger-than-life guy. Second, Jeff Klinkenberg does a terrific job telling Chapman’s story. Third, Carl Hiaasen’s memorable character, Skink, just might be based on Chapman.
All of these guys are Characters, and I’d probably bumble and mumble if I ran into any of them at a cocktail party or in an elevator. They point out, without even trying, how vastly inadequate I am to the task of creating characters and stories that are drop-dead gotta-read-it-NOW. Or even maybe-read-it-some-other-time.
I know that self-doubt hits all of us. It probably even propels us to action – we’ll write anything, just so we can shake off that feeling that maybe we should be studying accounting or cleaning the toilet bowl instead of writing.
So that’s where I am this morning, realizing that I’ll never be Chapman/Klinkenberg/Hiaasen/Skink and trying to write my way through the funk. It’s probably a good thing, actually, that I’m not any of these alpha guys, but shoot. It would be fun for a couple of minutes. And then I could write about it.