Posted on September 16, 2007 - by MG
I don’t usually turn to introspection on this blog because well, basically, it’s not very fun is it? It gets awfully close to that writer’s angst I try to avoid.
But today, just now in fact I had a moment of clarity in which I realised that being a published author is going to make me not more interesting as my teenage daughter imagines, but less.
(My teenage daughter observed recently, “I’m looking forward to your book being published. Then maybe your life will finally become interesting. And you’ll have things to tell me. Instead of it being the other way round.”)
I read an article about something, can’t remember what, and was just starting to form a theory, synthesize a thought, who knows it might even have been interesting…when a very strict part of my brain cut in and said NO.
NO. You can’t think about that. It might be interesting but NO. It’s not relevant to the books you write. It’s potentially too interesting to think about as a leisure activity. It’s not comforting enough to justify as a daydream. So: simply NO.
That strict part of my brain has a propensity to let me think all I like about the stuff that it deems relevant to my job and hardly at all about anything else. There were times when I was a scientist that I literally turned up at parties unable to speak. I forgot how to make small talk. I didn’t want to talk about anything but molecular biology, and no-one at the party wanted to hear about that so…I said nothing.
So I can imagine that what will happen in the next few years is that I will think more and more about my books. At the moment I can count on the fingers of a hand the number of people who have ever wanted to have any discussion with me about my books that goes beyond “You’re writing a book, really, what’s it about?”…my reply and then, end of discussion.
What if it were lots of people, though? What if that becomes all people ever want to talk to me about?
Then I’ll be back where I was in the old days, when I was mad keen to talk about subcloning DNA or whatever part of my research I was up to…and good for little else. Except now the only thing I’ll be capable of talking about is a bunch of stuff I made up once.
I’ll be back to being a nerd.
Actually I’m being daft. I could right now make a list of 10 friends who will NEVER want to hear about my books. They should help to save me from becoming a total bore.