Wednesday, 4 November 2009

On topics

Topics have never been my problem – at least not the usual way. I do not suffer (nor have I ever since I started writing) from a lack of ideas. I rather suffer from too many of them…

From a dream to a bird flapping by my window, everything can spark off an idea. My problem is how to keep up with them. There’s only so many stories I can work on at the same time.

I used to think I was a bad writer, because there’s a lot of stories that never get past the first ten or so pages. Only after I read and heard other writers writing or talking about the ‘pit’ (or something equal) on their hard disk which holds all the fledgling stories they never finished, I felt better about my own little ‘pit’ (otherwise known as “The Zip-Archive of Doom”).

(Fact is, despite feeling like a bad writer, I could never give up writing completely, although there were few people to share my thoughts or ideas with. As I’m mostly writing crime, horror and fantasy stories – and some of them are quite gruesome, I tend towards killing people by not having them shot or stabbed –, I’m a bit wary of letting my parents read the stories and none of my friends are really interested in the same stuff. In addition, you never know if you get constructive critics with people you know. Finding sites like or, where I could publish my stories and have people read and criticize them who didn’t know me and therefore didn’t coddle me, was a relieve.

When they praised my work (not all that regularly), I knew it was praise of my work, not just something you tell a friend, even if their writing stinks. When they criticized me, I knew they were not trying to hurt me, but really criticizing the stuff I’d written. I can easily work with that – it’s why I seek other people’s attention.)

But back to the topic with topics. I have a very strong and active imagination and thus come up with ideas very often. (I also come up with worries or strange ideas for real life quite often, but that’s not the point.) When I was a kid, I used to tell myself stories when I could not sleep (and whom am I kidding, I still do it today, it’s a nice way of drifting off into dreamland). I also always used to tell other people stories (not lies, but stories I had imagined).

The main topic with topics from my point of view is the sheer amount of them my brain comes up with during a day.

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