I’m no Charles Dickens!

Some days I wonder why I claim to be a writer.  An author I am, I have published 4 books of so-so merit but a writer?  No.  Why?

These last few weeks I have read two fantastic books, I remembered others and I have celebrated a birthday.

These are all great events, enjoyable events, events to smile and jubilate about.

These are also events to plunge one into gloom and despair!

I read two books this month which have delighted me.  Ruby’s Spoon and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  I have posted about the first and Peculiar Children will be up this week.  This is not a review of either.  This is a small song of praise to an imaginative use of language and ideas, of the stunningly good debut novels from these two authors.  I got to thinking of other debuts that had blown me away.  There are many, The Kite Runner springs instantly to mind, The Purple Hibiscus and Small Island, Catch-22 and let us not forget one of my all time favourites To Kill a Mockingbird far too many others to mention here.  Brilliant (in my opinion) books. First time authors, first stories.  So good. Oh so devastatingly good!

The birthday boy  was of course Charles Dickens.  Two hundred years old this year.  Well not him of course – he died and moulded away years ago.  But his stories, those fantastical tales of life and times.  Now many of you will groan, roll eyes, shrug and say ‘Oh not him’.  Many people do not rate Charles Dickens highly.  His style and manner out of fashion decades past. His prose too purple, his adjectives and adverbs too liberal.  Penned in a more leisurely time for folk who listened more and had fewer distractions and written in cliff hanging instalments, his were stories that need work nowadays.

They are worth the work in my opinion, but I accept that for many. . .  well then. I cut my reading teeth on him and his ilk 6 decades ago so they remain delights for me.  For all of us who claim to be writers though, whether fan or not, it’s the birthday which may depress.  Two hundred years and he is still being read, his stories are still being dramatised, his characters are still known.  I know in 200 years  mine will not be remembered.

So this month I wonder why I bother.  Wonder if it’s fools gold I seek.

Next month I hope to read a devastatingly BAD book and cheer myself up again!!!

follow all our insecurities!:(

12 thoughts on “I’m no Charles Dickens!

  1. Deborah says:

    All too true! I make a point of having a break during my writing day to have a cup of tea and watch a truly dreadful daily daytime soap – it makes me return to my desk feeling like a writing genius!
    Found via Author Karma.

    • alberta says:

      I never thought of watching a soap to buck me up – interesting idea – my mother enjoyed them and saw more than I wanted when nursing her and haven’t looked at one since – but some of them actually have some great story lines – maybe I’ll re-visit

  2. I think we all are great in our own way. Who’s to know that a hundred years from now your style of writing is in vogue and everyone resurrects your work? No one can know something like that. I prefer to write because it gives me pleasure. Because dreaming out loud for months and putting it on paper makes my late happier. I know with every story my prose gets better and my stories tighter, will I get the level of achievement of any other of the greats? I don’t think so, but I’ll be damned if I don’t try ’till the ink has dried out of my veins.

    Cheer up. You don’t really know what secret surprise is waiting for you down a few years.

    From Diary of a Writer in Progress.

    • alberta says:

      . . . till the ink has dried out of my veins – like that- might post it on my machine as a reminder of why I spend far to long dreaming of alternate worlds:)
      be cool to be in vogue in 100 years – I am often accused of being slightly old fashioned in my writing so that would be a great reversal – shall contemplate the greatness to come to memory – thanks

  3. shanjeniah says:

    Each of us is the only one who can tell our own story truly…..

    You are a writer. What you wrote above – honest and true and unflinching and funny.

    We’ve already had a Dickens. He did it perfectly.

    I still want the Alberta, and the Karen, too, for that matter.


    Because your words and experiences resonate with me.

    They matter.

    YOU matter.

    I know because I’ve been up all night, and here I am commenting here, because I cannot bear to not send you my appreciation for your words!

    Shan (who will never be Vonnegut, and is OK with that).

    • alberta says:

      such nice folk up here in cyberspace – warming cockles of this old ladies heart:) thank you for kind words and true all writers have something to contribute if we were all the same there would be no great ones – we need great ones for aspirations

  4. KM Huber says:

    Oh, Alberta, the writer blues are on this side of the pond as well. Unlike you, however, I do not have four books; at this point, I don’t have much of one but I persevere. Maybe I’m just stubborn but I’ve spent so many years writing I don’t know what else I would do, and of all the things I’ve done in my life, writing is what I have loved most. Perhaps that’s enough.
    Let me know if you read any bad books–I could use one.

    • alberta says:

      I’ll pass on the bad books – however what makes a bad book is little subjective – might offend in the classifying:) do you think maybe stubborness is the 2nd requirement after the need to write

  5. Heather_Ponzer says:

    This is why I thoroughly enjoy a bad book every once in a while. Instant ego-boost!

  6. Emily says:

    This sometimes crosses my mind, too. I love Charles Dickens, but he a rather ominous figure when you think about him like that. My writing is nowhere near as vivid, and as much as i would like to think I’ll be remembered, I don’t think I can live up to that.

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