When I get bummed out and convinced I’m not *actually* a writer, I think about Rincewind.
Rincewind, in case you don’t know, is a character from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. There’s only two things you really need to know about Rincewind:
1)He’s a wizard
2)He’s the worst fucking wizard on the face of the Disk
It’s true. It’s pointed out multiple times, by both Rincewind and others, that he is the sorriest excuse of a wizard to exist. He failed out of the Unseen University (a much more kid-friendly Hogwarts); he can’t remember any spells; he’s altogether awful at what he is.
And yet, he’s still a wizard.
Yes, he sucks at it. Yeah, literally anyone could do it better than him. Yeah, he’s been told that by all accounts, he shouldn’t be a wizard at all.
But he’s still a wizard. He gets very defensive about it, too. He will defend the fact that he is a wizard, however terrible, to the grave (and probably back, too, because Death’s daughter will scare you right back to life). And I think that is just amazing. He knows exactly what he is – he *knows* he’s a wizard.
When I look at my writing and I see an impassable tar pit of impossible mistakes, of contrived, boring plots, or I look at another’s work and see how far away I am from them and wonder if I have the resolve to try and catch up (and most likely fail), I think about Rincewind. I think about knowing what you are, and fighting tooth and nail for it, even when you suck at it.
So get on your Wizzard hat and keep doing the thing you love, because, let’s face it, you’d only put yourself through this kind of hell for something you love.
Behind every wizard of the eighth rank were half a dozen seventh rank wizards trying to bump him off, and senior wizards had to develop an inquiring attitude to, for example, scorpions in their bed. An ancient proverb summed it up: when a wizard is tired of looking for broken glass in his dinner, it ran, he is tired of life.
Palaeontology and archaeology and other skulduggery were not subjects that interested wizards. Things are buried for a reason, they considered. There’s no point in wondering what it was. Don’t go digging things up in case they won’t let you bury them again
Unseen University had never admitted women, muttering something about problems with the plumbing, but the real reason was an unspoken dread that if women were allowed to mess around with magic they would probably be embarrassingly good at it…
Finding Darkness In The Light: How Vera Rubin Changed The Universe
“Instead, the speeds rose rapidly, but then leveled off. As you moved farther away from a galaxy’s core, the stars’ rotation speeds didn’t drop, but rather leveled off to a constant value. The rotation curves, unexpectedly, were flat. Rubin’s work began in the Andromeda galaxy, our closest large, galactic neighbor, but quickly was extended to dozens of galaxies, which all showed the same effects. Today, that number is in the thousands, and our multiwavelength, advanced surveys have shown that it can’t be missing atoms, ions, plasmas, gas, dust, planets or asteroids that account for the mass. Either something is screwy with the laws of gravity on galactic (and larger) scales, or there’s some type of unseen mass in the Universe.”
When you look at a galaxy in the night sky, it’s easy to imagine that it’s just a system of masses like our Solar System, except on a larger scale. Instead of a single, central mass, you have many stars responsible for the galaxy’s gravitational pull. The stars revolving around the galactic center feel the tug from all the other stars and orbit accordingly, with the inner stars orbiting quickly and the outermost ones – the ones most distant from the gravitational sources – orbiting more slowly, just like the planets. At least, that’s what you’d expect. But when the techniques and the technologies for measuring this finally came to fruition, the result was a colossal surprise: the stars in a galaxy didn’t determine the galaxy’s mass or rotation properties. In fact, if you went out and measured the gas, dust, plasma, planets and everything else we can observe in the galaxy, they don’t explain it either. Something unseen and invisible was influencing the way galaxies behave.
So you have decided to read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Congratulations, you are about to enter a wonderful fictional world with some of the most hilarious and endearing characters I have ever read. However it is a daunting task with 41 books in the main series and 6 sub-series within it. Maybe you have seen a useful diagram on the reading order or something similar. Just to help even more, here is my guide to Discworld: