Monday, 26 August 2013

What Magnum Opus?

For those not in the know a "magnum opus" is essentially an artist's greatest work. It refers to things like the greatest story a writer wrote, the greatest picture an artist drew, the greatest sculpture...you get the idea. Anyway, on a site I'm a member of (yes that fanfiction site) there was a guy who was feeling like he should stop writing and felt that he had reached the pinnacle of his writing. This is my response to that guy.

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Well I'm not sure how much more I can add to all of this really. I will say though that if you're basing this on views and likes, then my silly little comedy piece would be my greatest work. I have written about three different magnum opuses by now. Several times have I thought to myself "This is it. This is the greatest thing I have ever written." and it never is because I then wrote something else that made me feel like that. In Nomine Equi was well received and may be potentially your greatest work, but only your greatest work so far. Keep going, hit new heights, and see how high you can really get. No matter what it is you do there will probably always be someone better than you, and one of those people is always going to be you yourself. Don't compare yourself to other people, compare yourself to your last work. My story Working Towards The Future has received massive acclaim. There are people who don't want it to end. It's had over 800 views, only has 2 dislikes, and yet I only have fifty followers. If I let statistics get in my way I wouldn't write at all. As far as I know I still haven't received a single royalty check for my book. But I've received 99% positive feedback.

Even if something you write isn't as good as INE it does help contribute to your abilities, your glory and your overall prestige. To be honest I can't tell you who wrote My Little Dashie. I can't tell you who wrote Cupcakes. I still haven't read MLD and I have no plans to. Even if I could tell you who wrote those fics, I couldn't tell you anything else they wrote. Sometimes the works can even become more famous than the writer. Or there are works that become so famous they asphyxiate the writer and force them to stay stuck with one thing. When my story ends I have plans for other stories not set in that universe. They might not be as popular but I'm going to write them.

Writing is just what I do. I tell stories, I create worlds within worlds and I make people happy with my worlds. Not everyone is going to enjoy the same story and not everyone is going to enjoy the same genre. There might be people who have read all your stories BUT INE. If you truly think you have written your best work then it's up to you to prove yourself wrong. I don't think you have and I don't want to see you quit just because you think you can't better yourself.

/rant. So much for not having anything else to add. 
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No matter what it is you do, never feel like you should stop just because you feel like you've reached the pinnacle. There's no such thing.  When did I become such an expert on this stuff?

10 comments:

  1. Reaching the pinnacle? Heh, more like pushing the limits. Taking a step forward, delivering a solid punch, and watching the borders fly back a bit. Sort of like unlocking new levels in a game, eh? "This is the hardest I could beat. Oh snap new levels, let me try!" Rinse and repeat.

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  2. Golly, I hope I haven't reached the pinnacle. I'd hate for "Well, It Was The Best He Could Do" written on my tombstone.
    Mind you, I'm in no hurry to HAVE a tombstone.

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  3. Not to be a dick, but those are the words of a quitter. Especially if that person is young. You've written something great and it was well received, so suddenly that's your magnum opus? In the remaining 50-70 years you have on this planet, there's no chance you could write something better?

    That just sounds like quitter speak. Neither of us have written our 'magnum opus,' and neither of us really care one way or another if we ever do. So glad you wrote that response to that guy, Mark. It's dead on.

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  4. You can always improve, if everyone felt that way we would be still in the dark ages.

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  5. Maybe this guy is just losing interest in writing. Every time you write something new, one would think a writer would learn from that experience and grow, and hopefully write something even better the next time. There are a lot of writers, artists, musicians etc. who did their best work when they were very young. I think this is because they became super rich, and lost their motivation. Seems like this guy has lost his motivation for whatever reason.

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  6. I'm glad that you tried to give him a good motivational boot Mark, it's a shame if he has lost his passion for writing but I guess generally it's something we've got to find in ourselves, I hope it comes back to him, I need a pep talk from you myself because mine is poor and it sucks!

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  7. oh i agree...never stop...it gives you something to shoot for...and i have a few things i have written that i hold up as my favs and it has little to do with wha thte readers like best...ha....

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  8. I think that if we feel we've reached the pinnacle, it's too easy at that point to rest on our laurels and become complacent. I for one do not ever want to reach that point.

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  9. His loss really if he decides to stop. The instant we reach a plateau is the instant we need to find a way to overcome it or start improving in other areas of our life.

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  10. I have never heard the term "magnum opus" before, I like it when I come for a visit and leave knowing more then when I arrived.

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