Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday's Inspiration - Janet's thoughts on a Quote by Judith Krantz

First it's sort of my own inspiration. I have an interview about developing characters up here. http://sheilaclaydon.com/2012/11/05/casting-couch/

Now to the quote. " Don't allow yourself to be intimidated by the work of other authors." Judith Krantz.

 This really made me think especially since I've let this happen a time or two. Sometimes a book I read is so good I wish I'd written it. Envy is an important ingredient in this feeling. After a while I laugh at myself because the book and author I've been so envious of isn't one I could have or even would have written. Having passed this roadblock, I then am able to look at why I felt this way and ask questions. Many times what I've really envied is some element of the novel like the character development, the descriptive passages or some other element. Then I can sit back and see if I can change some of my current work to I've learned. Sometimes I can and other times not.

After envy, there's jealousy. I've been bitten by that bug. Probably you have too. My book is similar to one written by writer X. Why did hers get more play than mine? This kind of thinking isn't good for a writer's soul, not to mention production. But looking back at my story doesn't help. It's been published and has sold. There's nothing I can do. Reaching this point can be hard. So what I do is start an analysis comparing two similar stories and seeing what I could have done to make my story fly. That can be brought to the next WIP.

How about you? Do you let the work of others intimidate you and keep you from doing the best you can? If so you could stop reading or you could look at this stories and add depth to your own writing.


Laura Lee Nutt said...

I completely understand this. I do get jealous of other authors, mainly when I hear someone else gushing about how much they love them. It's silly, honestly. I'm happy for another author's success, and usually, the other author is someone whose work I like to begin with. I guess, for me, it usually comes down to feeling intimidated or worried. What if I never make it that big? What if no one ever loves my books like this person loves this author's books? What if I'm not as good as I hope? Etc. When I'm reading, usually I mentally take notes to improve myself, and having this mindset adds a buffer against jealousy.

When I feel envious, I try to ignore it. Dwelling only makes it worse. No, I don't normally let it get in the way of writing. I've found that I can't think of anything else but the story I'm telling while writing. To do otherwise invites sabotage.

Thanks for sharing your insights into this issue. I feel assured that I'm not alone.

Cathryn Cade said...

Janet and Laura Lee,

You both make excellent points. I'm sure every writer has suffered the green sprite cackling on our shoulders. Our wild imaginations lend themselves just as well to negativity and fear at times!

Fortunately, the best way to banish envy is to immerse myself in my work in progress! Once I'm in my story world, I'm happy and could care less about other's writing.

I need to remember that I write because I must. And since I can't quit anyway, may as well try to be the best Cathryn Cade I can be, instead of a poor imitation of someone else. I'd make a lousy Nora Roberts, lol!