I’ve just finished reading the Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner. Certainly a challenging read but I found myself quite gripped to it none the less.
When I read stories about all the troubles of different family members throughout their lifespans, I sometimes find this quite depressing. Especially if these stories span over more than just one generation. Obviously as is the case with this book, this depends a lot on the plot of the novel… The main theme of this one was about the falling of the Compson family into disrepair and how each family member is screwed up in their own way. But generally I just find these stories a bit too easy to be taken literally. This ‘type’ of novel probably has a genre but quite often it seems that classic novels have this cynical edge. After finishing a book like this, it paints a picture of a lifetime of jealousy, hatred, betrayal and guilt to look forward to in our futures. Books like these make it all to easy to see how your life might turn out just like it, too. Maybe it’s just that the authors have done a fantastic job of writing the novel to make it seem super realistic! But when I end the book it leaves me with an unsatisfying feeling of ‘huh, will my life be over so quickly too? With such nasty grudges that last 50 years?’. Real cheery thoughts. Perhaps this is why I find myself reading non-fiction a lot more often now!
I’m thinking of starting to write a novel. I have this amazing vision of publishing this dark, philosophical book that everyone can’t put down which wins numerous awards and everyone is like ‘wow, what a fantastic book – why didn’t I think of that first’? And then I think, ‘but what would I write it on?’. And that’s where I usually stop, because I can’t even get started. If anyone’s paying attention, this actually sounds a lot like my pursuit for the perfect ‘dream’ job. I have a vision of a dream job/career. However, because I haven’t even realized what it is yet I have come to a stop and haven’t actually progressed any further. As great as it is to think about (and even go so far as writing about) finding this elusive dream life, if you’re not actually doing anything to bring yourself closer to finding what your passions are (you’ve only had a limited range of experiences – what else is out there?) you’re never going to land ‘it’. (Translation: instead of sitting on your bum getting overwhelmed by choice, just go for it; it’ll probably work out in the end!) Without being too much of a negative nelly, I’m starting to see a theme here: I’m slowly realizing that these dream jobs, book ideas, business ideas, etc. just don’t exist…*)
*Note: I am by no means saying you can’t be ecstatically happy in your job. I’m just thinking instead of figuring out your dream job (good luck, ha!) and then going out and looking for it, it’s probably better to just throw yourself out there and realize that with every decision you make and experience you have, you’ll probably be coming closer to your ‘dream’ job. Because that’s what life is. Just winging it. Right?
Maybe I’m just really indecisive and hate the idea of settling in a single job or career, even if it is the dream one!
So, after returning from a bit of a diversion.. I’m taking my own advice and applying it to writing a novel: I’m going to just start writing a novel and see what plops out. There. That was easy.
I was potentially inspired to write this post by reading A. J. Kessler’s article ‘showing up’. I love A.J.’s blog and find the articles very interesting and thought provoking. Take a look! http://www.ajkesslerblog.com/showing-up/