February 1

On shocks, misery and echolalia

Can I tell a story that's already been told?

By In Thoughts 1 min

I woke up the other day to a horrible email. No, it wasn’t telling of any deaths or any terror, but it did strike right to my heart. Amazon was recommending the forthcoming book of a best-selling author to me. And its premise – to me, at least – sounded awfully familiar. I lay in bed and I cried, and I pulled the blankets over my head, and I vowed there was no point in continuing. What was the point, after all, when someone had done it already, and no doubt done it a lot better than I could ever hope to. This person was already published! End credits for LJ McMenemy indeed…

But my fellow course mates and my wonderful tutors rallied around me. There are no new ideas, they said. And even if it does turn out to be the same, it won’t actually be the same because it’s your version of the story being told in your voice in your own inimitable way. And so I mulled that over for a few days, and then today I sat back at my laptop and put my fingers on the keyboard. And my story reclaimed me.

OK, so this thing is most definitely not the story I set out to tell. Those horror demons have well and truly settled in my brain and I can’t seem to write anything that’s not dark and horrible anymore. (What that’s symptomatic of will have to be a matter for psychologists and/or a different post.) My little tale of a girl delving into a fantasy realm as an escape is getting quite niche and quite horrid. Still, this is the story that my muse wanted to tell. This is the story that only I can tell, in only my way. And dammit, it’s the story that I’m going to finish.

Written by LJ McMenemy

Thinker of random thoughts. Writer of random dreams.
1 Comment
  1. SJI Holliday February 1

    I know that feeling. It’s happened to me many times! But your classmates are right, it would never be your story. Glad to hear you’re carrying on with yours (and I can’t wait to read it one day) x


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