Thursday, July 16, 2009


Yes, I admit -- I do get jealous at times. Hopefully not in a negative, destructive way, but it does happen.

This morning on ABC-TV's Good Morning America, they showed an interview with J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series of books (and which have been made into highly successful movies).

As I understand, she had relatively little writing experience. Yet, after a divorce and no significant employment skills to offer, she turned to writing -- and almost overnight she achieved the kind of notoriety and financial means most of us only dream of.

And then there was the (deceased) Michael Crighton. He received an MD degree and did some postdoctoral work, but as far as I know, he never suffered through a medical residency or practiced medicine.

Now, I do possess some writing skills, although I've never attempted anything as involved as a novel. But I do harbor a dream of doing that. So it is that I'm jealous of both Rowling and Crighton.

I haven't read any of the Harry Potter books, but I really should. I know other writers who have, and they claim the writing is very good.

I've only read one of Crighton's books (Jurassic Park: The Lost World). The storyline was fine, but honestly, I believe I'm a better writer than he was. What I seem to lack -- a gift he had -- is knowing how to take a principle of science and turn it into a story. After all, I have a MS degree in microbiology: I could have written The Andromeda Strain. I understand DNA cloning: I could have written Jurassic Park. But I didn't. Stories like those just didn't occur to me at all.

So I have an additional goal in life, over and above making and selling art: to develop my imagination and story-telling abilities so I can be the next Michael Crighton -- or even the next J.K. Rowling.

But until then -- I'll wallow in jealousy!

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