“It is a travesty that such a horribly written book is now a nation-wide best seller and being turned into a movie!!!” I am sure that many of us have thought this at one point or another. I have a few specific recent books that I have in mind, but my purpose of this post is not to debate, so I will not name them. Rather, my purpose is to discuss how reading others’ writing can be sometimes downright excruciating when you are a writer.
Before I became a writer and learned the craft, I was an oblivious reader and I loved it. I didn’t pay attention to the character development or the plot structure. I simply read a book and if all of these unknown pieces fit together in some sort of a collective understanding that interested me, I was good to go. And it became a “Wow, that was a great book! You have to read it!” kind of book.
Now that I am doing my own writing and overly conscious of plot structure and character development and the 500 other things you need to think about as a writer, I find myself looking for these characteristics in others’ writing. On one hand, it is a great exercise to be able to first know the good characteristics of writing and then to pull out examples in other writing. Those examples help to strengthen your own writing. On the other hand, it simply just takes the fun out of reading for me anymore. It’s hard for me to enjoy reading when I am constantly drawing a plot outline in my head and figuring out if overall, the book was written well. Like I’m a literary critic now or something. 🙂
Oh well. The only thing that consoles me in this perturbing matter is that I do have my favorite writers whom are just geniuses in my eyes and do no literary wrong. So I usually can relax and just enjoy those reads without having my literary police hat on.
If anyone else struggles with this, or would like to share their opinions of good and bad reads out there right now, I would love to hear from you!
I have just been nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger award by Time to Write. I have enjoyed and appreciated his posts about his writing experiences very much. Here is his link and please check him out! https://firstnovelblog.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/very-inspiring-bloggers/
I appreciate the community of writers and readers here on WordPress.
Here are the rules of the award:
1.) Display the award logo on your blog.
2.) Link back to the person who nominated you.
3.) State 7 things about yourself.
4.) Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.
5.) Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.
7 Things About Me
I love traveling with my finance.
I love antiquing.
I have a black lab.
I love writing fiction.
I love reading.
I grew up in Pittsburgh.
I enjoy running and developing businesses.
15 Blogs to Explore
These bloggers have been encouraging to me.
I am on a stage. A bright lines shines on me from afar and blinds me. I squint and turn my head slightly to see hundreds of people in an audience staring at me. Each and every one of them has their mouths open in a shocked expression. I look down and my heart stops.
I am naked.
Ahhh, the “naked on a stage” dream. I’m sure many of us have experienced it. I know that I have. As writers, I feel that we have that same vulnerability when we share our writing. It is that moment of nakedness where we are in our simplest and most purest form. We are able to put into writing our innermost thoughts and emotions. We may fear the judgment of our readers or maybe we fear disappointing them. Whatever the reason, every writer at one moment or another has feared.
Why do we do this? Why are we so anxious to share our thoughts with others as writers, but yet so scared to do so? I was responding to a fellow blogger today regarding writing as a child and I had an epiphany. When I was a young girl, possibly twelve or thirteen, I loved to write. I would write stories in my notebook and even began to write a “novel”. From what I remember, I got pretty far in it. One day, I took my journal over to my best friend’s house for a sleepover. Unknowingly to me, I forgot my journal at her house. Several weeks later, my friend called me and in our conversation, she casually mentioned that she found my journal and that she and her friend were reading my story. She said it in a judgmental way and I was mortified. That moment was one of my “naked on stage” moments as a young writer.
I never thought about it until today, but that was the last time that I wrote for enjoyment. Of course I wrote academic writing in school and in college, but I only began writing for enjoyment and others to read a few months ago.
Is it possible that that experience how long ago has scarred me unknowingly for all of these years? I’m sure that self-doubt and lack of self-esteem in general has added to the fears, but this may have as well.
What are your fears as a writer? Why do you have them or what caused them? I’d love to hear from you!