As I come to the end of watching editors proofread The Hunger Inside I get the feeling that a lot of people that I talk to that say "Oh I'm writing a book!" are not as discouraged by the fact that it's just plain hard, as the fact that they seem to think that they don't have an original thought. I hear a lot of "Oh everyone's done that." or "No one wants another one of THOSE books."
The picture up above is of an old Pepsi Co. bottling facility that was here in Corvallis. I have lusted after this building for years. For the longest time it sat empty and seemed abandoned. The dilapidated sign dusty, windows broken and in front of the loading dock was an unusable soda machine. Until someone came along and started working on it. They cut down the tree that threatened to destabilize the structure, they rebuilt the steps, put in new windows, new paneling, and painted it up. They made it something of theirs. It's no longer a Pepsi Co building. It's someone else's dream.
This is what writers and artists do. We take an idea and we shake it around, tear it apart, chew it up, spit it out, stomp on it, let it sit in the sun. We hammer on it, paint it, bleach it, sand it, repaint it and then scratch it up so it looks used. What ever idea it is, we make it what WE want it to be.
Want an example? www.lexigable.com is the epitome of someone who took her whole life and decided she wasn't going to take her toys and go home, she was going to take her whole life and make it her own. Her creativity shines through because of that decision. In everything from the simplest picture to learning to design games, it screams "LEXI WUZ HERE" just as it should.
If you are out there, struggling with a story, thinking about how others might look at it...stop. Just, stop it. Go pee on it. Yep, pee on the idea. Take out some windows and put in ones that you like. Go buy some molding and put it up inside your idea. Carve your initials in the floor. Make it yours!
This building is like my book. On the outside it's just a building, but I guarantee when you step inside, it's going to be a whole other world. My world. And you are welcome to come on in and enjoy it.