IWSG – June


This month I’m focusing on my ‘to read’ pile.  The number of fiction books bulking it out are ones that I really would like to read, but I just can’t bring myself to open that first page.

They include, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, Stolen by Kelley Armstrong, Fated by Benedict Jacka and Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor. These are all books that I think hold elements of the story that I am trying to tell in my own WIP.  What if, I’m constantly asking, those books are just too good, or deal with the issues that I want to deal with much better than I ever could? These people who have ‘made it’ are giants and I really don’t feel able to scrape myself up to their level.

blog books

When I sit and hold those satisfyingly real books I become aware of the uselessness of my heroine (constantly appearing to make stupid decisions), the weak rambling nature of my structure and the fact that my premise is one that no one will ever be enticed in to.

My particular terror at the moment is Throne of Glass as I know Sarah J Maas started out on Fictionpress which is where I first posted some early drafts.  When I compare her progress to mine it’s enough to make me curl up and start rocking. Honestly, what have I done with my life?

At some stage though I am either going to have to suck it up and read them, or just clear them out.   What do you think? How bad can it be? Has anyone out there read one of those books, or do you have a book of your own that taunts your own creative endeavours?

And if you’re am insecure writer who wants to share then follow the link to Alex J. Cavanaugh’s blog, http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.co.uk/p/the-insecure-writers-support-group.html




28 thoughts on “IWSG – June

  1. How incredibly bizarre to hear this coming from you! Did you know all week as I slogged through this best seller “real” book all I could think was, “Man–I wish this book was more like Debby’s.”
    Take that!
    (Nice of you to be insecure for our sake though, Dear.)

  2. Comparing of our work to published novels is inevitable, and–done constructively–it can help us improve as writer. But be careful of falling into the trap of thinking your writing stinks. It’s probably way better than you think it is. That’s what crit partners are for. They can look at our work objectively and tell us what needs polishing. 😉

    Welcome to the group.
    IWSG# 123, until Alex culls the list again. 🙂

    • Thanks Melissa. I do some constructive comparison too, but these books really freak me. I think I need to to be brave and not think too much when I read them 🙂

  3. I’m sure I saw this on a Pinterest board or something- but the wise words were “Never compare your beginning to another person’s middle or end.”

    I do what you’re talking about a lot, but I have to remind myself that those writer’s ARE great and what they did IS great but– it doesn’t make what I’m working on ANY LESS great.

    (I read Richard Yates and Margaret Atwood and I want to weep haha)

    Hopping by from IWSG.

  4. Every story I read. haha. And, I have never really thought about this, but I do compare my work with these people, but we have to remind ourselves, we are ready their finished (critique, edited, revised, proofed) story with fully developed characters. It’s supposed to be at its best. Ours are still works in progress. Try to read for fun and for good examples of how storytelling is done well.

  5. If you read read them, don’t do it with a view to making yourself feel bad, but with a view to working out how to improve yours, if it needs improvement. Also, remember you are your own harshest critic! Don’t listen to the gremlins. Or just hide the pile away until your book is done and dusted!

  6. Read to learn and grow. My tbr pile is 100 books high, and I picked out every one with the goal to learn something new. I’ve read plenty of books that made me wish my own writing could measure up to the poetry of the author’s words, the beauty of their descriptions. Darkfall by Isabelle Carmody to name a recent one. Anytime I feel insecure, I comfort myself with the knowledge that I’m learning something 🙂

  7. I have the same thoughts! Love Kelley Armstrong and could never even dream of aspiring to her level. With so many great writers out there, why does the world need me? We’re our own worst critic, but they all had to start somewhere too!

    • Yes, that’s it. I kind of feel superfluous with so many great writers about. I’ll try and imagine Kelley Armstrong sat at home being insecure, that may help.

  8. Discovery of Witches is very good. I loved it. We are all our own worst critic. I am struggling right now because an agent told me I had flawed my first person narration in my novel. so now I am desperately searching through the masses of first person novels to see where I went wrong:( at least he left me a comment and not a standard form letter. I try to see the positive in everything. Otherwise I will just cry…

    • Thanks for sharing. I was building up to either start Discovery of Witches or Throne of Glass. You may have just tipped the balance. Good luck with your narration.

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