Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've been watching a quote go around Facebook the last several days that I thought originally came from me. But the more I encounter it and think about it and see it I'm thinking it sounds like something that's been around a long time.

But I remember writing it in the early 1980s. That's one of the challenges of being a writer, or any kind of creator I think, you come up with something you think is original and it turns out someone else has either already come up with it before or is coming up with it at the same time and if they get it out before you they get the credit. Or, if you get it out in a way that has a wider impact, maybe you get the credit and they don't.

It's like the guy from the Jersey Pineys back in the 1920s who invented a crude typewriter that he thought was a new idea. The Pineys back then was not just a backwoods area, but it was so inaccessible that people could live there their entire lives without much knowledge of the outside world, like this guy who brought his crude typewriter to the city to try and make money on his idea only to discover typewriters had been in existence for decades and had been improved way beyond his simplistic concept.

Or a couple of years ago when two movies about Truman Capote writing IN COLD BLOOD came out at the same time. Of course everyone has the experience of thinking of something that you're sure is a good idea and can make money or make you famous or whatever but you don't tell anyone beyond your spouse or friends etc. and then one day you see someone else has actually brought the idea to fruition and you think, damn, I should have followed up on that.

But even sometimes when you follow up the timing is off and, for personal instance, you're writing stuff that would be praised for being "transgressive" a decade or two later but at the time you bring it into the world it's just thought of as "x-rated" or offensive or "too raw" or etc. and years later you watch someone else basically do almost the same exact thing and become famous or successful or whatever...

I'm not complaining about anything here. I'm too old for that. Old enough to realize there's nothing personal about fate when it comes to the ways life unfolds and things overlap or coincide or miss their time or work out or don't.

I supposed the easiest way to see where the quote came from would be to google it. Maybe I'll do just that.


Anonymous said...

Haha. Yes, it happens to us all. Can you tell us what this quote is that you're uncertain about. Am dying to hear it!

Lally said...

More fun if I keep that a secret.