Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Learning From The Past.

I often read other people's work and wish I could write as they do. I recently realised that I can't - I can only write as I write.

I can, however, improve my own writing and develop my own voice.

I've been reading some twenty year old SF magazines and anthologies - part of my current goal to become more familiar with Australia's SF heritage - and I'm really enjoying it. But I sometimes wonder what happened to some of these writers. They appear to have been the 'next big thing' at the time, or at least headed for continued publication success - but here in the 21st century I've never heard of them.

I'm reasonably active within the Australian SF scene, and am familiar with most of the names currently publishing, but these writers seemed to have dropped off the map completely.

Did they just decide writing wasn't for them? Did life get in the way? Was their career a priority? Perhaps they had kids who ate up all their time.

On the other hand, I have read first published short stories from writers who are now established names. And I was amazed at how 'average' (sorry guys) some of these stories were. I could see the potential, for sure, but I also saw a lot of flaws in their work. And that gives me hope.

Sometimes we think some of these writers, because they've been around the scene for so long, were always superb. That somehow they were born with this gift.  There's no doubt they had the talent, but they also had the determination and the drive to persevere and improve.


parlance said...

I wonder if they went on to write in another genre. Is that possible?

Steve Cameron said...

It's possible.

But google searches reveal no trace of the writers I'm thinking of. And SF people tend to stay close to SF, even if they wander off from time to time.

There could be many reasons why they are no longer writing...

Gitte Christensen said...

Perhaps they just received that one rejection too many...

Steve Cameron said...

Again, possible.

It does make me more determined to keep writing and selling.

I don't want to be someone who wonders 'what could have been'.