Never Say Never

I’ve always stumbled over writers who say they never had anything to say until such and such a book or such and such an age, or whatever. What does this mean? Nothing to say? It always sounds to me like they think they have to be the next Hemingway or something, have some deep literary knowledge or life-exploding idea or philosophy to give to us mere mortals.

But what about just the story that’s been told? Isn’t that having something to say? Isn’t that saying, look, I have taken the time to be creative and make something up. That’s saying something in a world that moves along at a speed that has no time for anyone or anything.

It doesn’t mean anything to me when writers say I had nothing to say (or even I’ve always wanted to be a writer). It’s cliched. It would be like starting a story with: “Once upon a time.” Sure you can use it, but why? All the creative juice has been squeezed out of it. I feel the same way about those two examples.

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