The problem with reading a great book (when you’re a writer) is looking at your own work and thinking fuck… I don’t sound like that. I don’t sound anything like that. Have I been writing garbage this whole time?
It’s not that I’m comparing. I’m not. I’m appreciating, and at the same time, noticing the vast degree of how well some people can tell a story and how I’m basically drawing stick figures on the page. It’s true. I’m not fishing for compliments or sympathy or whatever, but maybe a *little* empathy. Honest question: You ever think you’re hot shit when you nail a scene or literary device (or whatever blows the wind up your skirt) and then you read something spectacular and think my god what the hell have I been doing this whole time? I had that happen a few times recently thanks to Chloe Neill (this is your fault, Jamie) and her vampire series (yes, I know. Another vampire series. Let’s not go there now). Neill throws around words I studied for (and failed miserably at) for the GRE, but she does it in a great story-telling way. I kept thinking shit… she’s the real deal. So what does that make me?
Again, not being emo. Just honest. Sometimes it’s fantastic when you read a great book because your love for reading amplifies. You remember why flipping through pages (or scrolling – whatever your preference) beats out channel-surfing or playing on your phone. But sometimes it’s sucks. Sometimes reading a great book (when you’re a writer) is like sitting at the kids table on Thanksgiving. It’s humbling, reminds you of your place and makes you wonder if you’ll ever make the great leap over.
That’s my insecurity – sitting at the kids table forever. We all write differently—and that’s a good thing—but damn it, feeling like an amateur sucks.
Do you ever feel like this? Or do you have different insecurities? Come on and share as this is the day to do it. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) posts the first Wednesday of every month (It’s December already, guys. DECEMBER) to admit to one another our fears and doubts and to battle these negatives with encouragement and support and all around groovy vibes. This awesome blog hop was started by Alex Cavanaugh and if you’re interested (you know you are) you can check out—or stock—all the spiffy writers participating here.
Happy December. You rock. And keep writing, kiddos.
We’ll get there.