Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ten Million monkeys typing

There are a lot of words in the English language. I have not counted them all but from the massive amount of online research I spent the last three minutes doing I surmise that there are anywhere from 20,000 to one million or more of them. Apparently there are some people out there that have spent their allotted time in the counting of the words that make up the ever growing, changing and flexing morass of words that I use to communicate with. Wow. I think I could probably come up with something more worth-while for them to do.
That being said; It's a big pile of words to chose from whenever you start writing something. Honestly though I believe that most writers, myself included, only utilize a very small percentage of the tools at their disposal. For example, I would use the Twilight rolls. I don't refer to them as books because in my opinion all they are good for is slightly stiff toilet paper. Making that point I would venture to guess that the writer of the twilight rolls only used about 567 words rearranged approximatively 5 billion times to flesh out her "stories" of the unrequited love of various supernatural and merely mortal characters.
Had she used more than that, increasing her vocabulary to say, 1000 different words used about 2 billion different ways I may have actually been able to read it without my eyeballs bleeding.
I am jealous.
The main difference between me and her is hard to define. Outside of the very obvious gender and size differences we could be remarkably similar. We were both raised in a very strict religious culture, both married, both attended college and obtained "higher education" and both of us are writers. She being, admittedly far more popular than I shall ever be. All of this aside what is the difference?
Vocabulary?
Having read one of her books to the severe detriment of my ocular capacitors I would have to give that a very firm "HELL NO"
Life Experience?
Again the above. I actually knew what the point of sneaking into a girls bedroom was and Really, although I never actually met a vampire or werewolf in the flesh I did read Anne Rice, who, if you are going to go for the supernatural lives of the really cool undead and other lycanthropish types, kicks Steph's ass all over the literary world.
Self Confidence?
Thou hast hit upon it. I just don't have the blind self confidence she does. I read what I write and I am reminded with every word that monkeys typing could reproduce Shakespeare if we gave them enough time, bananas and a typewriter or 6. Although I have always wondered why they didn't just give the primates a computer and MS Word?
I realize that the only way to build confidence is one of two ways. Believe in the crap you write so much that despite what all critics and the vast majority of learned folk in the world think and or say you just keep pushing forward until someone, somewhere, finds your niche market and actually sells a few billion of your words to the eternal detriment of the human race as a whole.
Or.
Write so well that the critics, naysayers and family members that may or may not have the cumulative IQ of a shaved polar bear actually enjoy reading what you write.
I am going to practice until I fall into the second category. Or perhaps I will just be so prolific that I will get an honorable mention in the little blue book of "at least he tried"
Either way, expect to see a fair number of blog entries from me this year. Feel free to laugh, cry or be disgusted. For the very brave, or large, or those of you trained in some murderous martial art that I don't know, feel free to be critical.
Happy new year.

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