January 25th, 2006


"I did it 35 minutes ago."

I finished reading Alan Moore's The Watchmen last night. Not bad, considering I picked it up that afternoon at the library. At the time it was unbelieveable. "Magnificent brilliance" and other positive adjectives burst forth from my vocabulary.

Now it's the morning after, and I catch myself wondering how I'm ever going to stack up to that level of quality. Moore rebuilt the world and everyone in it. He created characters that not only contained real emotions, but also discussed major philosophical and political topics intelligently. And he tied it all up with the best ending this side of Casablanca.

Can I do that? Can I write a story so good, it'll make people unable to put it down for the next eight hours after they pick it up?

"You're kidding, right?"

This is that moment when I start to blur the lines between fiction and reality. There's nobody reading this over my shoulder. There is someone reading this over my shoulder.

"Go on."

"You're brilliant. You're more than brilliant. You can do this if you want to."

Compliments. Flattery. Encouragement.

I think I'll reread the whole thing. Slower this time. I've got it for three weeks, there's no sense in trying to devour it all in one go again. I should also find a few other good things to read. It's important to remember that brilliance exists in many forms, and that my variation on my craft is no less valid. Good advice for any artist, I think.