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March 20, 2009

I’ve been watching ER on NBC since the show began in 1994.  I can hardly believe I’m about to say this, but it’s true – I have not missed an episode.  The show ends this spring, and I am savouring every line of this final season.

My favourite character, hands down, is John Carter.  He is so earnest, and his growth over the course of the show so beautifully written, that I find myself caring deeply what happens to him.

I think this is a hallmark of great writing: when we care for fictional characters, thinking about them long after the broadcast/book is over.

During a recent episode, staff were interviewed for a documentary on the ER.  Of course, Carter was one of those interviewed.  He talked about his tenure in the ER, and about leaving a few years ago when he thought he’d seen it all.  He talked about what makes the ER fresh every day.

Everything that happens has never happened before.

This is an elegant statement.

I am exploring how it applies to my writing.  You’ve heard the adage – there are no new stories.

And yet. 

I am new.  This day is new.

Every story that is told has never been told just this way before.  Even archetypal fairy tales and epic hero journeys  – if that is what I write – are new and untold, because I am using my voice.

This is powerful.

This keeps me going, when I question the wisdom sanity of this writing path.

 

listening to: Macy Gray, Do Something

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