In which I celebrate my lack of creativity…Posted: July 22, 2010
I will never win an Oscar. Neither will I win an Emmy, a Grammy, a Tony, the Booker or a Pulitzer. Thusly, you can extrapolate that I can’t act, sing or dance. Nor can I write in a theatrical, novelistic or journalistic fashion. So far, this is a barrel of laughs, right?
I, however, am not bitter. I do not lament this lack of creativity. I don’t have the urge to write a bestselling novel that speaks to people on an intrinsic level. (Can I add here that I am fully aware of the fact that I am saying that I don’t have the urge to write, or speak to people. Here. On my blog. Which I set up. I understand irony, I’m an editor for frick sake.)
So many people are creative, want to be creative, want to be heard, should not be heard (yes, I’m looking at you, crazy American Idol contestants). And sometimes it really hits home. Hundreds upon thousands of people have talents that are wondrous to behold. Huge multi-bazillion pound industries have been built of these talents. Creativity is inherent in these people. The desire (if not the ability) to express themselves as natural as breathing. Not so for me (evidenced by the length of time it has taken me to put this post together, not to mention the trite, ridiculous manner in which I write). Despite this, I think setting up this blog is a result of seeing the almost overwhelming amount of people who are creative on a daily basis. If so many people want to write books (and they bloody do, I’ve read through inhuman amounts of slush (and I am not using “slush” in a derogatory fashion. Also, before you ask, children’s books—DO NOT include pictures of your cat with your submission is the advice I would most like to give you…)) why don’t I? Surely I have a story to tell?
Do you know what? I don’t. I don’t have a story to tell, I don’t have anything to say (again, awareness of irony). I can out-drama queen Mariah but put me on a stage and I assume plank-like qualities, ask me to write fiction…well, it isn’t horror but it’s damn scary!
And it really doesn’t bother me, it never has. I am on the non-creative side of a very creative industry and I’m thrilled about it. Because I can spot an error at 20 paces.* I check running heads, paragraph indentation, count the words in a quotation. I find the end of your double parenthesised sentences (I mentioned I work in legal publishing, right?). I examine the minutiae and think about your book in a way that you never have (well, I almost guarantee this is true…). What I—and my friend The Red Pen of Accuracy—do is make creative people better at being themselves (yup, I’m that bigheaded).
I have come to the conclusion, therefore, that I am the stool under the bum of the writer. Or, taking into to account the profession we are discussing, the bar counter that props them up…and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
*Feel free to laugh at the spelling mistakes, etc. that have probably crept into this, I spot *your* mistakes, not my own…but when I see them after the fact I will die a little inside. Enjoy!