The Holy Grail for Writers

Holy Grail

The Holy Grail of writers is Originality. It’s the ultimate dream – to come up with something so unique they would name award after you.

Yet when we come upon a new idea, we are so obsessed of this dream of all dreams that we gladly toss anything new out, because it is rough stone compared that golden chalice. Or perhaps gem stone cup? Or simple wooden bowl?

We all have come to a point, where we rid ourselves from ideas we get, because we think they have all been thought before and then yield to frustration how mediocre we are.

Do you know that this same grail itself once began as a piece of material with no significance? It too was once a mundane object that was washed with dirty dishwashing cloth and rinsed under cold water or scrubbed in mix of oranges and sand during the luckier days…

What made this small cup famous was the details and action it was pulled in. We would never know of it if we didn’t relate its faith with Lamb of God. Neither would we crave for it if we didn’t know of Percival’s story. 

Yet none of those stories would have come to reality if those writers would have let their ideas go, because someone had written on that idea before. So many writers and numerous stories and imagine – they all wrote them, copied the ideas and added new details. And we still pick them up and distinctively know what makes that particular story unique.

It’s in the details, not in the idea itself. If I’d set every half-a-page idea aside, I would never write anything. There wouldn’t be characters to fall for or places to dream of. It is so tempting to get angry and delete what I’ve already written or cut the page out from notebook. But I won’t do it, because if you have a conflict – you can write the story. Let yourself go. Don’t judge the idea, judge the outcome. None of us would have got this far if we’d judge every exercise or word we put down on paper. We can’t read minds, but we can read what you write down.  

I put up for this year’s promise not to toss aside any idea before you have created at least two characters and written half a page of dialog or story according to your idea. I’m not talking about getting it perfect or setting up monster goals, but realistically facing up your crippling fear and working with it. Not every idea will work out and not every one will get sequel, but if you see even a glimmer of what will come next, then do it! Continue writing! Polish your Holy Grail until it shines!

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Filed under elements of writing, kirjutamisest, Writing

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