Saturday, 27 August 2011

Doctor Who - “Let's Kill Hitler” Makes Me Want To Quit

This evening I, along with millions of others, watched the return of Doctor Who to our screens after the show's mid-series break. I loved the episode, maybe not as much as Neil Gaiman's immaculate episode 'The Doctor's Wife', but I still loved it massively. The problem was that as it ended, I was left with a sense of horror and realisation. It was then that I realised there are levels of writing, standards of quality, that I will never achieve, no matter how hard I try.

In effect, it kinda made me want to quit this writing lark altogether.

I get this feeling now and again, when I enjoy something so much that it feels like I'm wasting my time trying to do anything as good, but still I plough on. I'll probably continue to plough on until something comes along that floors me enough to actually have me wipe my drives of every bit of nonsense I've ever tried to string together, but until then I'll keep on trying.

I guess I'm my own worst critic, as my readers seem to enjoy the things I do, be it journalism or fiction, but my internal critic won't shut the hell up. This may be a good thing as it means I always have an eye on quality, but it's also holding me back from just enjoying what I do.

The work of Stephen Moffat with this series of Doctor Who is astounding. The twists, the character interplay, the massive ideas told via relatively small-scale means, the glorious use of language and tension, the huge SF scope, it's gorgeous, and hugely humbling to someone trying to figure out how to make sentences sound good.

I know I'll never be a brilliant writer. I just want to be a good one. Or, at least, good enough.

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