It is too easy to let all the other could, should, woulds get in the way of what it is you really want.
But if the fire of a story burns within you, you will have no rest until it’s written, or spoken, or somehow shared.
This week, I had the good fortune to hear the very talented Markus Zusak speak. Markus is back on Aussie soil after touring the US with his new book, Bridge of Clay, and he spoke to an enthralled full house in the theatrette at the National Library of Australia. Being an ardent admirer of Markus’ earlier works which include The Book Thief and The Messenger, I queued up with everyone else to have a copy of his latest novel signed, but mostly to thank him for speaking so authentically about the struggle he had writing it. Particularly because it’s been thirteen years since his previous novel was published, and he’s been working on Clay for most of that time.
Markus has spoken about using failure as fuel before, as in his 2014 TED talk, The failurist:
Here’s the thing with writers. Everyone thinks that to be a writer you’ve got to have a great imagination. You don’t. You just have to have a lot of problems. Clearly. And it’s getting around those problems that gives you the power to imagine. You’ve got to imagine your way around them.
This book looks as if it will be just as deliciously chewy as his others.