Thursday, January 15, 2009

That Fine Line

As you have surely noted, I've been reading the works of John Green lately. I like Green for three reasons: he's funny, he's smart, and he has an amazing grasp of the language. I don't like Green for the same three reasons. His writing makes mine look a little like this. I am told that if I just keep plugging away--studying the craft, learning from great books, and writing, writing, writing--that my own work will improve. There are many stories (most often cited by writers who've racked up hundreds of rejections) about famous authors who struggled for years before they hit it big. And for the most part, I do hold with the idea that hard work=success. But there is a little thing called talent and if you think for a second that I will ever approach Green's brilliance, then you are also probably a person who believed your mom when she told you that the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore him.

And then I read this:

Man solves Rubik's Cube after 26 years

and I thought man, that's dedication.

Until I read this:

Graham Parker of Portchester, England, said he first bought his Rubik's Cube in 1983 and has since spent more than 27,400 hours struggling with the colored cube puzzle, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"I cannot tell you what a relief it was to finally solve it. It has driven me mad over the years -- it felt like it had taken over my life," Parker said. "I have missed important events to stay in and solve it and I would lay awake at night thinking about it.

and then I thought man, that's pathetic.

And I realized there's a fine line between the two.

So the point is this: If, after 26 years, I'm still trying to write as well as John Green and I haven't published anything, feel free to tell me, "Old man, maybe this just isn't your bag."

Dedication is one thing. Obsession is quite another.

Twilight Quote of the Day:

"I do a good job of blocking painful, unnecessary things from my memory."

--Bella Swan, Twilight, p. 6


Jacqui said...

I saw that about the Rubik's Cube and thought much the same thing. But I'm dying to know: what's he doing now that it's solved?

Kelly said...

I think that guy is trying to set the timer on his VCR now...
26 years?? I don't think he was the sharpest knife in the drawer. But then again in junior high I could get all sides but one, and I don't think I ever did solve it!

Carrie Harris said...

Probably that guy is now blocking the whole painful, unnecessary thing from his memory. :)

Paul Michael Murphy said...

Setting the VCR...that's good.

Anonymous said...

i could only solve it with the instructions written out by some geek in my math class.. oh, wait, that was the teacher.

He must have lots on his to do list.

WHat is it about John Green? you, ben esch, other people.. i should maybe read something by him, or is this a huge in joke that i'm not in on?


Paul Michael Murphy said...

Not only should you read John Green, you should check out Brotherhood 2.0 on the YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I'll do both of those, Paul Michael Murphy.

I hope i'm not making a horrible mistake.....

Monica J. Murphy