An old friend of mine, a writer
, who works with Seamus Heaney
, gave me some advice not so long ago. He said "Bear in mind
when you write, that even the strongest writers must avoid Social Kryptonite."
He went on to say, "Everything is story
, absolutely everything; the weather report
, a scientific paper, the way we ask for a drink in a bar
". We all communicate through story alone, so as a writer the single thing that sets you apart
from anybody else is how you go about the telling.
Social Kryptonite is that mysterious element
that weakens your telling. It makes you doubt your own will. It lurks in styles that you feel you should adopt, or voices that you want to imitate. It gets stronger when you worry about whether others will like what you say, or whether you have the authority to write
at all. But it is strongest of all when it is wrapped in money
, then it can paralyse you.
Everyone knows that there is no defence against kryptonite, all you can do is to learn to spot its insidious effects and avoid it, or take the risk
At this point Superman would fly away to his secret hideout
in The Arctic
, some say, The Fortress of Solitude
, the only reminder of his lost home planet
, where he would remind himself of his heritage and restore himself.
I never got on with Superman
, but realising that the metaphor was good I had to take a look, and there 'Far out in space
, Superman's dog
, proudly surveys his work', the caption reads; Superman's got his Fortress of Solitude, where he can get away from it all
! Ha Ha! Now I've got my own Doghouse of Solitude
! ... Pretty slick, Ha?