Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Writing "like me"

You know that feeling you get when you read an amazing book by an amazing writer and you think: DANG--I wish I could write like that!!!!!!!

Yeah... I have that feeling all the time.

But I do my best to shake it off, because I don't actually think it's a healthy feeling to have as a writer.

Sure, I can admire someone else's writing. I can be awed by the way they string sentences together, or impressed by their solid world building, or laugh myself silly at their wonderful use of humor--or even be inspired to push myself in new directions. But I can't let the feeling go any further than that, where I actually let myself WISH I could write like them. Because I can only write like me.

And sure, I can (and should) grow and learn and improve my craft in many many ways with every word I write. But I will still always write in MY voice and tell stories MY way.

Which is actually why I always fall SUPER behind on reading when I'm drafting, because I often can't read when I'm trying to crank out a rough draft. I read all the pretty, revised-and-edited-a-million-times words by authors who write very differently than me and think: MY DRAFT SUCKS BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE THIS!

So this week (and weekend) I'm going to get some serious reading done. I've met all my deadlines--and I'm about to dive into writing book two (AHHHH!!!), which will mean I won't be reading as much. So I'm taking the time now to crank through as much of my TBR pile as I can. And I've got some AWESOME ones in there guys. It's going to be a good, GOOD week!

17 comments:

  1. You make such a good point, Shannon about not comparing ourselves as writers to others--well, actually we shouldn't compare ourselves in anything, but...I do this all the time with my writing. Even when I am crit. for someone, I always think "I suck! I can never write like them"--and when I let that get to me, I get down. But you're right. We all have a unique writing voice and this is a good thing. Thanks for the reminder and happy reading!

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  2. Yay for going through your TBR pile!!!

    Enjoy!

    Take care
    x

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  3. Great point about how reading others' work can affect your writing/drafting--basically your mindset. You're doing an awesome job!! Keep at it.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Yup, I feel the same way! I usually don't read too much while drafting, either. However, I found that it actually helps me to read while revising. Have an awesome time going through your TBR list! Fun!

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  5. I do that all the time, but I try to kick myself in the butt when I do. Easier said than done sometimes, though. :-)

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  6. I totally go back and forth! There are moments when I'm reading a book and I'm like, 'Dude, what was I thinking? There's no way I could ever write as beautifully!' and then the next day (with the same book) I'm like, 'If they can get published, so can I!' :)

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  7. I've been on a massive reading bender lately. But it's hard to write when I have all these other stories swirling around in my head! So maybe this week I will get more writing done.

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  8. It's a thin line of comparing for me, because I have be careful about putting myself down and having major writer's envy of something amazing that I read, but at the same time I look at something that really gripped me and I try to figure out what the author did so I can hopefully have the same affect on my readers too.

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  9. I do that all the time!!! Glad to know Im not the only one! lol Thanks for the great reminder!

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  10. How true! This is an occupational hazard, I think.

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  11. i just went through a massive read and finished like 10 books in a month. A Month! I don't know how i did it but it was awesome...

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  12. I totally understand. Sometimes I get so depressed reading other books that I just have to stop reading or I'll never be able to write again.

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  13. Have fun reading!
    And don't let your inner critic control you. You are better than that.
    #trusthebookbabe

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  14. Amen! Stay true to yourself. :)

    Happy Reading and Happy Thanksgiving! xo

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  15. this post definitely resonated with me...so careful what i read when i'm writing! enjoy playing catch up!

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