Friday, January 25, 2013

Insecure

From a writer's perspective there are three types of great books in the world.

Ego Booster: "Great book. And, you know, I think I can write just as well as this author. This book gives me hope that eventually I will get published if I keep working hard and don't give up."

Inspirational:  "I love this book! I want to write and write and write until I can write as well as this author and create a masterpiece like this one!"

Dream Dasher: "This book is so amazing. It is so amazing that I will never, ever be able to write so magnificently or come up with an idea so awesome. I might as well just quit."

I admit, I'm reading a dream dasher right now. It is so amazing and so clever. I've been reading it aloud to anyone who will listen. And it makes me want to throw my own middle grade verse novel in the garbage.

I'm sure this was not Katherine Applegate's intent when she wrote Home of the Brave, but unfortunately it can be a side-effect of a terrific novel.


Do amazing books ever make you feel insecure?

16 comments:

  1. oh yes ... ALL the time. Jeanette Winterson's books do that to me all time.

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  2. Yep. When I read To Kill a Mockingbird, I couldn't write for a week.

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  3. Oh yes. I think I prefer the ego-boosting ones. Just kidding! :)

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  4. Making note b/c now I need to read it & yes, I've read a few lately that both inspire and slightly intimidate me.
    ~ Wendy

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  5. Yup ... but then I realize I still have something to say and get back to work. Craft, craft, craft.

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  6. Reading awesomesauce books totally used to make me feel insecure, but as I've read and written more, I've realized that my voice isn't going to be the same as someone else's voice. Now, I do get that jealous pang at times, but instead of making me want to throw in the towel, it inspires me to continue reading and writing. (That truly is what makes our writing stronger, as you know!) :)

    Totally want to read this now! Thanks for sharing!

    Jessica

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  7. Every single book Katherine writes makes me envious. I started with her ANIMORPH series in 1998 (I was 7 myself). I never looked back. Or should say never wrote again. I kid of course, but her storytelling is just so great. I recently read her ONE AND ONLY IVAN and cried in the bookstore. I get jealous a lot of writers or when I see sales on Publisher's Marketplace, but I also remind myself that no one book is alike. :-)

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  8. Yes - sometimes there is such a fine line between Inspirational and Dream Dasher. But I must admit, sometimes I love getting consumed by a dream dasher :)

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  9. Yes, but I still love to read them. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  10. Oh my gosh! I love the three categories you. Came up with! So very true! I need to get my hands on an ego booster to ignite a small flame under my stagnant self!

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  11. Haha, this is so perfect! I think this every time I read a book. It falls into one of these categories!

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  12. Yes, it's very weird when I get caught on the fine line between loving a book SO MUCH because I'm a reader and that writer is AMAZING and hating that same book SO MUCH because I'm a writer and that other writer is SO AMAZING.

    Conflict.

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  13. Oh you hit that nail on the head hahaha. But I think reading all types of books are important, that way we're well rounded--inspired and driven to push ourselves.

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  14. Yes. Always. Especially Ann Patchett because, I should just say MOO and be a cow since I have a better chance of becoming a cow than a writer like THAT.

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  15. Yes, this happens. When I read Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone I was in awe of the writing. It did inspire me to write though. That's where Fraction came from...

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